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Film Director Maria Giese Leads the Battle for Gender Equality in the Film Industry

Film Director Maria Giese Leads the Battle for Gender Equality in the Film Industry





Introduction to Maria Giese.  0:42 sec.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Camera:  Lee Skye.  Videography & Production:  Alexandra Fazekas.

 

In 2015 after four years of activism in the Directors Guild of America, MARIA GIESE became the person who instigated the biggest industry-wide Federal investigation for women directors in Hollywood history.  In The New York Times, Manohla Dargis referred to her work as “a veritable crusade.”  She is now the subject of a feature-length documentary “This Changes Everything,” which includes commentary by Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, and many others.  Her new TEDx talk, “The Battle For Female Voices in Entertainment Media,” and her upcoming book, “Troublemaker,” describe her work getting the ACLU and EEOC to investigate this issue— the ramifications of which are resonating globally.

Prior to that, Giese wrote and directed the 1996 feature film When Saturday Comes starring Sean Bean and Pete Postlethwaite, and the award-winning digital feature film Hunger based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winner Knut Hamsun.  She has also directed two Golden Cine Eagle-winning short films, and has written three screenplays that have been produced into feature films.  She is a member of 
the Directors Guild of AmericaFilm Fatales, and the Alliance of Women Directors, and is founding chair of the annual Women’s Media Summit.

Giese holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Master’s degree from UCLA’s Graduate School of Theatre, Film and Television. In 2016 she was awarded the prestigious EQUITY AWARD from Stanford University and her articles have appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Elle, IndieWIRE, and Film Inquiry.  Giese herself has appeared on CNN Global, BBC International, ABC Live, Sky TV UK Live, Bloomberg TV, and NPR.  She has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Guardian, among others internationally.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 6 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

TRAILER FOR WHEN SATURDAY COMES: 1:54 min.





The first movie directed by Maria Giese upon graduating from UCLA’s Graduate School of Theatre, Film and Television

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  3:28 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JViEgqqrMQ"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JViEgqqrMQ</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Where did you grow up, and what was your first awareness of art of any discipline?

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS: 4:54 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EssN_szP-dY"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EssN_szP-dY</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

You seem well-grounded and down-to-earth.  What kind of person do you need to become in order to direct films and engage with people in the film industry?

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT: 4:58 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKXfUbbZkXQ"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKXfUbbZkXQ</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Can you give us an example of a film project you developed that was never green-lighted because of your gender?

 

 EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 6:06 min.





Have you read Edward Burns’ book, “Independent Ed?”

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 5:28 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtE0Xgy0uD8"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtE0Xgy0uD8</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

What happens when women transition from film school to the film industry?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 2:10 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSIJA8EpH-8"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSIJA8EpH-8</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

In the excellent documentary “This Changes Everything,” Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount Pictures, voices support for women filmmakers.  Why didn’t she do anything when she was in a position of power?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 5:49 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ekGgkg5gyI"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ekGgkg5gyI</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Do you think your prominent presence in “This Changes Everything” will bring you new opportunities or put you on a black list?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 3:42 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fXmqXUgDi0"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fXmqXUgDi0</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Can universities play a role in addressing the issue of gender inequality in the film industry?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 3:15 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSo2SwFboN4"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSo2SwFboN4</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Please elaborate on the message in the beginning of “This Changes Everything” — that gender equality in the film industry really impacts everyone, because Hollywood is the primary storyteller to the world, and shapes how people see each other and themselves.

 

 DEVELOP A VOICE: 3:50 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQM5XDBDt_Q"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQM5XDBDt_Q</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Do you know any Millennials who enjoy watching classic films or black & white films?  What do your kids like to watch?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES: 2:40 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS0lDXUJWD0"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS0lDXUJWD0</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Are you writing a book about your experiences challenging the film industry?

 

RESILIENCE: 2:22 min.

</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sdjuA17NNs"><span style="font-weight: 400">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sdjuA17NNs</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400">

Do you have a drawer full of projects that are still viable and production-ready?