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Deb Verhoeven is a Professor of Digital Humanities and Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Alberta. She is also a researcher, film critic, data enthusiast. Lucky for us, she is about to embark on a global research initiative that is a game-changer in addressing inequality in the film industry.
There are times when a member of an older generation mentions something they consider obvious, only to see a glaze form across the face of a member of a younger generation’s. The reference has gone completely over her head. As a child, when I told my parents I hadn’t heard of something, their response would usually be, “So what are they teaching you in school?” This is not to condemn the education I received, but a genuine inquiry: why there are certain surprisingly specific gaps in my knowledge?
Fourteen years prior to Bigelow’s win, another female director of a feature film was also awarded the golden statuette. In 1996, writer and director Marleen Gorris won the Best Foreign Film category for her feature Antonia’s Line. If we’re talking about firsts, then this is absolutely another one to permanently inscribe upon our memory.
When someone considers whether to watch a film at the theaters, it’s standard practice to Google search the movie name and look at reviews. Reading the film’s summary and the reviewer’s feelings are usually enough to tip the balance on whether or not to purchase a ticket. However, these reviews are often not gender-balanced.
Peier “Tracy” Shen is a young writer and director from Wuxi, China, who has been studying, living, and creating films in the United States for a number of years now. As a child she wanted to become a pianist, but this slowly evolved into a passion for writing. During college she realized that film combined many artistic mediums, including music and writing, so over a summer break in Shanghai, she picked up a camera and decided to direct for the first time. Now, she is a graduate from American Film Institute and currently resides in Los Angeles with a number of completed short films under her belt.
Jenny Eagan is costume designer who started out her career by studying Fashion Merchandising in the University of Missouri. She has been nominated for several noteworthy awards.