Tuesday, April 16, 2013

30 Female Screenwriters to inspire you


According to a recent study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, of the 250 highest-grossing films last year, only 14 percent were written by women, while 38 percent of the films employed one or no women in roles such as producer, director, writer, editor, or cinematographer.

"There is inequality going on, and it's institutionalized, and it needs to stop," says Diablo Cody. She also covered the topic in a different interview: "I didn’t know it was that bad. I’d have to say visibility and representation are important. The women that have power need to be vocal and not complacent. I have seen very successful women and they don’t speak out because they don’t want to rock the boat and they simply want to stay quiet and be part of the boys’ club. I understand wanting to protect your career, but I’m willing to be outspoken and obnoxious."

In a recent Broken Projector podcast, writers and critics wondered if a lack of visibility exacerbates the issue. If women don't see a lot of women writing and directing films, does that discourage them from doing the same?

I think it does. Sitting at this year's all-male panel of WGA award nominees, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. Where were the women?

There are plenty of women writers and directors out there - but perhaps, like Diablo suggests, they're less outspoken, working hard under the radar. Ladies, you're not alone. What's encouraging to me is that it wasn't hard at all to find great female screenwriters to highlight. Get inspired by these 30 kickass women:

Lorene Scafaria

Tina Fey

Katie Dippold

Annie Mumolo

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Leslie Dixon

Lucy Alibar

Karen Croner

Robin Swicord

Mindy Kaling

Lena Dunham

Kourtney Kang

Dana Fox

Kelly Marcel

Julia Hart

Kirsten Smith

Karen McCullah

Dee Rees

Elizabeth Meriwether

Laeta Kalogridis

Vanessa Taylor

Nancy Meyers

Lisa Cholodenko

Sarah Haskins & Emily Halpern

Michelle Morgan

Melissa Stack

Diablo Cody

Jennifer Crittenden & Gabrielle Allan

Liz W. Garcia

Stacie Passon

16 comments:

wellywood woman said...

Terrific list! Straight onto Pinterest & Twitter!

owlsarenotwise said...

It's even easy to find more. I would add Shonda Rhimes, Jane Espenson, Jennifer Westfeldt, Felicia Day (for the web content crowd) and Maurissa Tancharoen - but that's just me!

Gaylena said...

How could they leave out Aline Brosh McKenna? "Devil Loves Prada" and a new Jane Eyre adaptation film coming.

James McCarthy said...

Having watched Lars and the Real Girl just last night I will have to add the name of Nancy Oliver to this list.

Kermet Key said...

Elizabeth Sarnoff (Crossing Jordan, Deadwood, Lost, Alcatraz); Christina M. Kim (Lost, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS: Los Angeles), Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary), Jenji Kohan (Weeds), Lauren Gussis (Dexter)...just a few of my faves.

Amanda said...

All good suggestions! I'm glad that there are way more than 30 out there.

Kermet - I focused on feature writers just because the idea sprang from a discussion about the lack of women in film especially. Numbers seem a bit better in TV. The TV ones I included have also done features. But perhaps I will do a TV-centric post about women too!

Lisa Scott said...

Amanda -- how about a list of agencies who will take a look/consider new women writers? do you work for one of those? inquiring minds wanna know!!!

write on!

Jessi Jordan said...

Some VERY powerful women were left off this list.... Showrunners/Writers Shonda Rhimes (Greys Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal - seriously you left her out???), Jane Espenson (Once Upon a Time and 2 many more to name), Amy Sherman Pallidino (Gilmore Girls, Bunheads), Veena Sud! (The Killing) and top female agents Debbe Klein at Paradigm, UTA's Blair Kohan, WME's Sharon Jackson, Gersh's Leslie Siebert and ICM Partners' Lorrie Bartlett

Jessi Jordan said...

Some VERY powerful women were left off this list.... Showrunners/Writers Shonda Rhimes (Greys Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal - seriously you left her out???), Jane Espenson (Once Upon a Time and 2 many more to name), Amy Sherman Pallidino (Gilmore Girls, Bunheads), Veena Sud! (The Killing) and top female agents Debbe Klein at Paradigm, UTA's Blair Kohan, WME's Sharon Jackson, Gersh's Leslie Siebert and ICM Partners' Lorrie Bartlett

Amanda said...

Jessi - Again, this was meant to be a list of female writers in the feature world. Any TV people were people who have done features in recent memory.

Lisa - I no longer work for an agency, but perhaps if you query women, you might be able to appeal to their desire to find more female clients!

Malaika Mose said...

A writer you left off in the feature is Ava Duvernay, recently inducted into the Academy for writing and directing. She did both for I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere. In other words, she's kind of a big deal. :-)

Mariaaj said...

Can I throw in Miranda July? The Future.

Isaiah Headen said...

Great list, but I'm curious about what topics, themes and genres these writers cover. How wide is the spread or is it narrow? Food for thought.

Julie said...

Had to add my new favorite, Leslye Headland, of "Bachelorette" (indie feature) fame (which I thought was a more cohesive script than "Bridesmaids.")

I love that she workshops via play writing. Her new TV show "Assistants" was also first done as a play, in Philly.

Julie said...

I have to add my recent favorite, Leslye Headland (of indie feature "Bachelorette" fame.)

I love that she workshops her pieces as plays...

Her new TV show "Assistant" was a play last ear in Philly.

Sam Kearney said...

I loved this list. It has kept me busy all day :-)

I would add Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) I think she is one to watch out for.

Thanks again!