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First Women in Film & Media Summit Slated for November

Cristina Kotz CornejoVMA Professor and Associate Chair Cristina Kotz Cornejo

The first Emerson College Women in Film & Media Summit, bringing together professionals in the field who will discuss how to open doors to the industry for more women, will be held Monday, November 9.

Organized by filmmaker and Visual and Media Arts Professor and Associate Chair Cristina Kotz Cornejo, the daylong event will bring together women working in behind-the-scenes roles in the film industry to share their experiences and discuss how a new generation of film and media makers can effect change and create opportunities for more women. The event, including panel discussions, networking, and a screening, is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. It takes place at the Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street, Boston.

According to the 2014 Celluloid Ceiling Report, an annual study sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, in 2014, women comprised 17 percent of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing films (domestic). Also in 2014, women accounted for 7 percent of directors, up 1 percent from 2013, but down 2 percent from 1998. In 2014, 93 percent of films had no female directors, and women accounted for 5 percent of all cinematographers working on the top 250 films of 2014, representing an increase of 2 percent from 2013 and 1 percent from 1998. Ninety-six percent of the films had no female cinematographers. Based on a 2007–2013 study by USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, these troubling statistics were even lower for women of color.

“We must demand real change and I am excited to have the opportunity to bring together a group of talented and diverse women working in the film industry to share their career experiences and engage in a dialogue with students and the community-at-large,” said Kotz Cornejo, who has been advising the student-run, production-oriented organization Women in Motion for the last nine years.

Women in Motion President Kimberly Anderson ’17 was thrilled when the idea for the summit was presented to the group. “As students who are passionate about film and media, we’re excited to hear from women who are working in a variety of behind-the-scenes roles and learn about their individual paths into the industry,” said Anderson, who is a Visual and Media Arts major studying Film Production. “It’s a great opportunity to network with women who are leading the way for future film and media makers like us.”

Among the speakers are Kelly Edwards, vice president of talent development at HBO; Mollye Asher, creative producer (Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Fort Tilden); Linda Reisman, Emerson College distinguished producer-in residence and creative producer (The Danish Girl, Affliction); film/media composer Germaine Franco (Dope, Angry Birds Rio); and Emerson College Associate Professor and screenwriter Jean Stawarz. Miranda Banks, Emerson associate professor of Visual and Media Arts, moderates.

See the full schedule for details on the Women in Film & Media event.

The Summit is sponsored by co-curricular student organization Women in Motion, the Department of Visual and Media Arts, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, with support from the Office of the President and the School of the Arts.

Cybel Martin Linda ReismanKim Anderson