Photo credit: Director’s Guild of America
35 years ago, directors Susan Bay, Nell Cox, Joelle Dobrow, Lynne Littman, Victoria Hochberg and Dolores Ferraro joined forces to create the Women’s Steering Committee. Established to research the facts surrounding employment opportunities for women directors, it quickly became a force representing the interests and needs of the women members of the Director’s Guild of America.
The work of the founding members paid off when the DGA initiated a lawsuit against film studios in 1983, at a time where the industry counted only 0.5% of female directors.
Negotiations ensued in 1985 with the studios, leading to groundbreaking results: in 1995 that figure had skyrocketed to a gamechanging 16%.
The DGA paid tribute to the founding members of the WSC on September 20 at the DGA headquarters in Los Angeles, where DGA president Paris Barclay introduced them to a impassioned audience before passing the torch to former president Martha Coolidge who helmed the rest of the evening
Featuring recorded messages by Steven Spielberg, Morgan Freeman, Veena Sud and Howard Stern, the event celebrated fierce filmmakers of all kinds, honoring not only established filmmakers such as Patty Jenkins, Betty Thomas and Mimi Leder but also the next generation as the “Original Six” received commemorative gifts from DGA Student Film Award winners Tara Atashgah, Erika Cohn, Ashley Maria, Mitsuyo Miyazaki, Dehanza Rogers, Caylee So and Margot Ye.
Follow the Women’s Steering Committee and the other DGA diversity groups on the Diversity Directory
Follow Ashley Maria’s upcoming documentary Pioneers in Skirts on the Diversity Directory
Find DGA Student Award recipient Ashley Maria on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find DGA Student Award recipient Margot Ye on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find Patty Jenkins on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find Veena Sud on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find Martha Coolidge on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find Mimi Leder on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find Bethany Rooney on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Find Director Category Representative Maria Giese on the Hollywomen Directors Board
Discover the latest achievement of AD/UPM Category Representative Melanie Wagor on News Round-up #2 – Ghosts & Superpowers