Did you know: In 2014, women comprised just 17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films. This is the same percentage of women that were working in these roles in 1998.
-Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University
In 2015, the Mill Valley Film Festival took its longstanding commitment to female filmmakers one step further by launching Mind the Gap, a festival-wide initiative that focused on bridging the gap and inspiring women in film.
Program highlights included: 33% of festival films were directed by women; 60% of the festival films were directed, written or produced by women, and Tribute and Spotlight programs on veteran and emerging artists including Academy Award®-winning actress Brie Larson, director Catherine Hardwicke, actress Carey Mulligan and actress Sarah Silverman. Additionally, Sir Ian McKellen, who received a lifetime achievement award at MVFF38, created and presented an engaging program of clips and conversation titled “Sir Ian McKellen Remembers: Women I’ve Filmed With”. This was a unique program created for MVFF and highlighted the work of legendary actresses including Ava Gardner, Meryl Streep, Vivien Merchant, Laura Linney and many more. He has since taken this program to other venues in the US.
This year, the Mind the Gap program is both a celebration and a call to action exploring women, film and technology by looking at three aspects of the film and tech worlds: innovation/entrepreneurism, creativity, and gender representation.
Highlights of the program include: the premiere of a first narrative feature by an 80-year-old artist and documentary filmmaker (Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait); the digital restoration of the first feature film by an African American woman to gain wide theatrical release (Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust); a panel about creating Hidden Figures, the highly anticipated film about the unsung female scientists at NASA; a discussion with some of the technistas behind the scenes at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
For more information, please visit https://www.mvff.com/mind-the-gap/.