If you didn’t know this already: our CEO and Director, Elizabeth Giorgi, is a lady, woman, human person. It’s a fact we’re proud of, because less than 3% of creative directors working on commercial work are women. But it’s also a HUGE problem and one that is reflected in the entertainment industry as well. Less than 7% of the top 250 films in the U.S. were directed by women last year. Part of our mission at Mighteor is to show that women have a place in this industry – at all levels and in every department of production.
Last year, Liz started on a personal mission to let people know what movies they could see each weekend that were written, directed by or primarily starring women. This effort, which she dubbed Ladies Opening this Weekend, has gained hundreds of supporters and with good reason. It helps you to actually go out and do something about the problem. Here’s the ethos behind it:
“I have a tradition that I don’t talk about enough: Whenever possible, I ALWAYS support female led films on opening weekend in cinemas if they are available in my city. …
This all started as a fun challenge. But each and every ticket I buy, I become more committed to this. And here’s why: Hundreds of movies will be released in 2015. Less than 20% of those will be directed by, written by or star a woman in the principal role. Those numbers haven’t changed in years and they aren’t going to change by us just talking about it.
They aren’t going to change if I write an angry blog post.
They aren’t going to change if talking heads go on TV and talk about it some more.
They aren’t going to change if we admit more women into film school.
I hate that this is true, but when it comes to how decisions get made, a lot of the time it’s about the consumer and the financial choices we make that show those with power that we aren’t complacently waiting. Hollywood believes that 17 year old boys go to movies. And that’s because they do.
Women watch movies. It’s true. We watch Netflix in higher numbers. We rent movies. We stream. We make it out to movie theaters too. We all know this. But opening weekend is this huge hurdle that we have yet to surmount. And why? Because there isn’t a precedent there. There isn’t the data.
The notion goes something like this: women don’t show up for opening weekend, which is the most important weekend for a film in terms of its ability to be considered a financial success. In order for a film to be considered not just viable, but successful, asses have to show up in seats on opening weekend and then spread the word that its a movie worth seeing so that it continues to do well at the box office and then again on streaming and home viewing.”
You can read more about these efforts here. But in the meantime, Liz has given us a sneak peak of the list of all the movies you can see in February with Ladies Opening in the Lead:
All Roads Lead to Rome (Directed by Ella Lemhagen; Screenplay by Cindy Myers; Starring Sarah Jessica Parker)
Logline: Maggie is an uptight, single mother and college writing teacher from New York City. In an effort to reconnect with her troubled teen daughter Summer, she decides to embark on a journey to a Tuscan village where she frequented in her younger days. Upon arrival, Maggie runs into Luca, a handsome former lover who is still a bachelor and lives with his eighty-year-old mother, Carmen. Summer (missing her “bad boy” boyfriend in NYC) and Carmen (secretly planning a wedding against Luca’s wishes to Marcelino, her one true love in Rome) impulsively steal Luca’s car and race off to Rome. Maggie and Luca quickly pursue allowing the two mismatched couples to spend some time together and develop a new understanding of each other.
How to be Single (Screenplay by Dana Fox and Abby Kohn; Starring Rebel Wilson and Allison Brie)
Logline: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.
Tumbledown (Screenplay by Desiree Van Til; Starring Rebecca Hall)
Logline: A young woman struggles to move on with her life after the death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer, when a brash New York writer forces her to confront her loss and the ambiguous circumstances of his death.
Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (Directed and Written by Emily Ting)
Logline: An attraction forms when a Chinese American girl visiting Hong Kong for the first time meets an American expat who shows her the way, but timing may not quite be on their side. A walk and talk romance set in the beautiful city of Hong Kong, the film asks the question – what happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time?
The Great Gilly Hopkins (Starring Sophie Nelisse and Kathy Bates)
Logline: 12-year-old wisecracking Gilly Hopkins finds herself shuffled from foster home to foster home until she meets Maime Trotter.
Marguerite and Julien (Directed and Written by Valérie Donzelli)
Logline: An aristocratic brother and sister embrace passion and hope as they flee from society. A story of desire, love and death beyond all morality.
One additional note before we go: We are not able to tell you if these movies are objectively good or female-friendly, as we have not seen all of them. The point of this list is to give you a place to start. The truth is that we don’t have a lot to choose from, but part of the battle is giving you the information. Information is power. However, shared knowledge is also key. So if you see one of these films or have seen an early screening, please let us know if you recommend it or not in the comments.