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by Johnni Macke | Mon., Mar. 4, 2019 3:00 AM
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Who run the world? Girls!
While we believe in Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)" mantra every day, there is actually a day dedicated to female empowerment and it's this Friday. Yes, International Women's Day is March 8, so write it down and don't forget it.
Since we fully support girl power, women being bosses and females supporting females, we have decided to show the ladies some love all week long, starting today with our ode to all the females taking the film industry by storm.
In the spirit of International Women's Day, which is a global day celebrating achievements of women socially, economically and politically, we're shining a light on 10 special ladies who are daring to dream and making moves in the film world right now.
With each project they are impacting the entertainment world, how women are seen in the industry and breaking through any and all glass ceilings as they go.
Women like A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay, Lady Bird writer and director Greta Gerwig and Mindy Kaling are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women taking charge in film these days.
Behind the scenes there are even more amazing women who are currently our role models like cinematographer Rachel Morrison and Crazy Rich Asians screenplay writer Adele Lim, not to mention actress—not just singer—Lady Gaga.
To see the faces of some of the most badass women in film right now, keep reading. Oh, and make sure you join in on this year's International Women's Day by celebrating the 2019 campaign of #BalanceForBetter all week long...but especially on Friday.
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Despite having worked as a TV writer and producer for years, Adele Lim is now a movie force to be reckoned with following her success as the screenwriter for Crazy Rich Asians in 2018. Not only did Lim roll with the punches and adapt to writing a screenplay as opposed to a TV episode, she used her own upbringing to add to the female point of view of the story and the cultural perspectives that fans so dearly loved. Now, she's using her background as a Malaysian writer from Chinese descent to help Disney tell a new story for the upcoming untitled fantasy-adventure animated film, which according to Deadline will have an Asian element to it. Oh, and she now mentors new writers for the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment's New Writers Fellowship.
Rachel Morrison might be behind the camera as a cinematographer, but her work is front and center as are her accomplishments in film. In 2018, she became the first woman to be nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars for Mudbound. She then worked on 2018's Black Panther as the film's director of photography, which made her the first woman to ever to hold that title/role on any big budget superhero movie and in any Marvel film period. Plus, she continued to work while eight-months pregnant on the upcoming film Against All Enemies because she felt that it was "MY choice and no one else's" how long she worked and how much time she eventually took off.
Ava DuVernay is a household name these days and she deserves all the hype she's given. In 2015 she directed Selma, which was followed by 13th, which she earned an Oscar nomination for and at the same time became the first African American woman ever nominated for Best Documentary Feature, all before she became the executive producer for Queen Sugar on OWN. Oh, then there was the blockbuster that blew her fame wide open, 2018's A Wrinkle in Time. With this film she became the first woman of color to direct a movie with a production budget of more that $100 million. Her titles now include, writer, director, producer and film distributor and really the sky's the limit for DuVernay who has both TV and film projects on the horizon.
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In 2009, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Hurt Locker and there has yet to be another female to win the award. The film itself won six Oscars that year and not only did Bigelow breakthrough the male-dominated category, but she proved that women can direct action films and films about war accurately and just as effectively as their male counterparts. Next, she directed Zero Dark Thirty to critical acclaim and she is currently producing two new war films, The True American and Triple Frontier.
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A hit film about a female superhero directed by a female? What a concept! Despite the fact that this makes perfect sense, it was still a big deal when Patty Jenkins directed 2017's Wonder Woman, which eventually raked in more than $800 million worldwide making Jenkins the most successful female director of a live-action film. Her contract for the Wonder Woman sequel, which she is writing the screenplay for, directing and producing is record-breaking for women in film. When she's not working on the superhero franchise, she is back to TV with TNT's I Am the Night which she was an executive producer and writer on. Plus, in case you forgot she was the writer and director on Monster back in 2003 and if she has it her way there will be a Wonder Woman 3 to look forward to among other passion projects like a love story set in New York City, and we'd definitely go see it in theaters.
Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparico has a sort of fairy tale story, which makes her more relateable. When Alfonso Cuarón set out to cast the lead in his film Roma, he went to Aparico's hometown of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca in Mexico, but she was focused on studying to a be a school teacher. After going to an open casting call she was discovered by the director and once she signed on for the project her life instantly changed. The film was a massive success, she traveled all over the world to promote it and she was even on the cover of Vogue Mexico. Oh, and she earned an Oscar nomination, which made her only the second Mexican-born actress to be up for he category of Best Actress in the award show's history. No matter what she does next, Aparico has shown that Indigenous women can do anything they want.
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Greta Gerwig proves that no matter how long it takes, your solo ventures are worth fighting for. Even though she's been in the entertainment industry for years as an actress, in 2017 she finally went behind the camera as the writer and director for Lady Bird and as her first solo-directorial debut she nailed it. Gerwig worked on the script for Lady Bird for years, but once she made the movie it was an instant success earning five Oscar nominations including Best Director. With this nomination, Gerwig became only the fifth female nominee in the category's history. So, what's her second solo-directing gig? Little Women, which she is not only directing, but she wrote the adapted screenplay for. Plus, with a cast comprising of Saoirse Roanan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet and more it's bound to live up to Gerwig's well-deserved hype.
To most Lady Gaga is an iconic singer, but now she's a movie star worthy of praise and admiration. Not only did Gaga show a softer side to herself as A Star Is Born's Ally, but she proved that she could be a leading lady no matter how hard it was. With her first leading role, and first feature film, she earned numerous awards and nominations including a Best Actress Oscars nomination and an Oscar win for Best Original Song, which is huge. Plus, she won a Grammy and Golden Globe for her songwriting work on the film. Clearly, she isn't one thing, she is a chameleon and the world should take note.
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Mindy Kaling does it all and now she's making movies in the film world. After debuting her upcoming film Late Night at Sundance Film Festival in January 2019, Kaling, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, made history with the sale of her film to Amazon. Not only was the sale one of the largest pacts in Sundance history with its $13 million price tag—the biggest was a $17.5 million deal that Fox Searchlight made for The Birth of a Nation for global rights—this deal is the only deal for U.S. rights to ever hit the $13 million mark. Plus, Kaling is using her own past as the only female writer of color when she first started writing on The Office to change the gender gap in her projects, which she did by adding Nisha Ganatra, a filmmaker of Indian descent, to direct the film.
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Jessica Chastain has had a lot of success during her career earning an Academy Award nomination for both The Help and Zero Dark Thirty and she has continued to thrive as an actress by playing roles that actually empower women and show their depth. One example was her role as Molly Bloom in Molly's Game, and another was in Woman Walks Ahead, which proved that westerns aren't just for men. In addition to portraying strong female characters on screen, off screen, Chastain has created her own production company called, Freckle Films to "create opportunities for women in front of and behind the camera." Plus, she speaks out about gender equality in Hollywood and isn't scared to talk about the sexual harassment issues in the industry as well...no matter what the cost to her career.
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