On Tuesday, July 19th, ArcLight partnered with San Diego Filmmakers to host the launch event for the San Diego Women’s Film Network at ArcLight La Jolla. We were thrilled to host such an empowering and inspiring event for so many women (and men!) in the San Diego filmmaking, entertainment, and media communities. Throughout the evening, we heard amazing insight and advice from a wonderful group of speakers.
During the first panel, Diversifying Women’s Role in Entertainment, we heard from Jodi Cilley, Founder and President, Film Consortium San Diego, Carly Starr Brullo Niles, Founder, Love Machine Films, Stephanie Caleb, President of Creative Affairs, Cinelou Film/Cinelou Releasing, and Katayoun A. Marciano, Writer/Producer. The panel was moderated by Lisa Remillard, Anchor for Good Morning San Diego on KUSI News. The women spoke candidly about their experiences in the entertainment industry, as well as how women can support other women, and the importance of networking and finding inspiring mentors to help provide insight and guide your path to success.
For the second panel, Female Narrative in Film, we heard from Jazmin Borad: Director of Programs for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Tonya Mantooth, Executive and Artistic Director for the San Diego International Film Festival, Brent Altomare, Founder and Executive Producer of Groovy Like a Movie Studios, and Linda Brown, Emmy Award-winning Cinematographer. The panel was moderated by Marianne Kushi, Anchor, for NBC 7 News Today. The speakers offered insight into some of the roadblocks women face in the entertainment industry, as well as how we can work together to overcome them. Brent Altomare even read his email folder full of resumes sent to him for positions at his production studio and found that 75% of the applicants were male–leading into a discussion of how women can work to build and assert confidence in a male-dominated field. The highlight of the panel was the discussion of female characters in movies and television; Jazmin Borad of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media shared some powerful statistics on how adding women writers increases the amount of women characters on screen.
Krista Vernoff closed the event as our keynote speaker; she is truly inspiring and such an accomplished woman in the entertainment industry! She spoke on her experiences in the industry and how she’s working to champion women- she says the problem of women’s inequality in television and film is “fixable, but it requires a joint effort by all of us privileged enough to have a seat at the table in Hollywood to fight for change,” detailing how many noteable Hollywood decision-makers (including JJ Abrams and Shonda Rhimes, among others) are trailblazing that path towards positive change for diversity in entertainment. She also shared her personal experiences; describing how she fought for a studio to include more women in the candidate list for directors for a pilot she wrote and was able to hire the pilot’s director, line producer, editor, music supervisor, costume designer, hair & makeup artists, and 5 out of 8 series regular cast; all women. Krista was such an empowering voice for our audience!
When women come together to start a conversation about these important issues, it can spark inspiration and motivation in those who are listening. We’re so proud to have hosted the inaugural launch event for this new network to help to create a powerful forum of support and empowerment, as women all across the entertainment industry are coming forward to share their stories, insight, and advice for both established and emerging female voices.