LIFETIME® WOMEN MAKE
BEST MOVIES OF 2015
Fact: Lifetime's top 5 original movies of 2015 were directed by women.(1)
Fact: Among adults, Lifetime movies directed by women account for 4 of the top 10 (A25-54) and 5 of the top 10 (A18-49) on ad-supported cable.
Fact: Whitney, lead by Angela Bassett in her directorial debut, is the #1 movie on cable for the year in key demos.(2)
LIFETIME’S ANGELA BASSETT (WHITNEY) AND LAURIE
COLLYER (THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE)
SCORE DGA NOMINATIONS FOR OUTSTANDING
DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR
TELEVISION AND MINISERIES
UNREAL'S SARAH GERTRUDE SHAPIRO ANNOUNCES
GROUNDBREAKING PARTNERSHIP WITH AFI
As executive producer and co-creator of UnREAL, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro credits much of her success to her time with the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women. On the stage of The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 Breakfast, Sarah announced our new alliance with the program which will guarantee a job to each graduate of the 2016 class. Sarah's short film, Sequin Raze, was created as a student in the program and became the driver for Lifetime to pilot and make the hit drama, UnREAL, the network's most critically-acclaimed scripted series ever.
HOW TO KEEP A SHOW ON TOP,
ASK SARA REA OF RUNWAY
For over nine seasons, Sara Rea, executive producer of Project Runway, never stops pushing to keep her show one of the best reality competition series on all of television. Under her leadership and direction, and even after the 14th season came to a close, Project Runway continues to stay fresh while drawing huge viewership. The season finale brought highs in all demos, including 2.5 million total viewers, making Runway the network's most-watched unscripted program of the year. With +9% gains in women, the show proved that once again, when women make content, women watch. Sara also serves as executive producer of Project Runway Junior.
LIZ GATELEY JOINS SUMMIT TO CHANGE HOLLYWOOD
Women in Film and the Sundance Institute convened Hollywood's top brass to create an actionable plan to fix the industry's gender parity problem. Called the "Systemic Change Project," Liz Gateley, Lifetime's EVP and Head of Programming, participated to help identify the obstacles women face and craft solutions.
BROAD FOCUS SEEKS WORLD DOMINATION AT MIPCOM
(L to R) Moderator Marisa Guthrie, television editor, east coast, The Hollywood Reporter with panelists Vivian Yin, CEO, Fremantle Media China; Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Academy Award & Emmy Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker; Pelin Diştaş Yaşaroğlu, General Manager, Kanal D; Sarah Phelps, Writer and Executive Producer, 'And Then There Were None'; and Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Fox International Studios and EVP Global Scripted Entertainment, Fox International Channels.
Photo Credit: Reed Midem
Lifetime territories around the world, including Southeast Asia, UK, Latin America, Canada, Poland, South Africa and Israel announced their commitment to Broad Focus, expanding efforts by Lifetime to support the work of women content creators. The plans were launched at MIPCOM during the Most Powerful Women in Global Entertainment lunch to enthusiastic acclaim across the industry.
FIRST BROAD FOCUS SCREENING EVENT TO
FEATURE DIRECTOR LESLIE LIBMAN
CAROL BARBEE JOINS UNREAL FEMPIRE
UnREAL added more fem power with the addition of veteran writer and producer Carol Barbee. Carol quickly jumped into the trenches of Season 2 as Executive Producer, along with Marti Noxon, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Stacy Rukeyser and Sally DeSipio.
FIRST-TIME DIRECTOR AND WRITER NIKOLE BECKWITH
TALKS STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA
After bowing at Sundance in 2015, Meghan Hooper, Lifetime's VP of Acquisitions, plucked Stockholm, Pennsylvannia to premiere on Lifetime. Starring Cynthia Nixon, Saoirse Ronan and Jason Isaacs, the movie received three Critics' Choice Award nominations, two Satellite Award nominations, two Cablefax Award nominations and two Women's Image Network Award nominations. Because of the film's success, Lifetime is continuing conversations with Nikole in hopes of finding a future project together. Nikole recently shared with us insights on being a first-time director.
How did directing Stockholm come about for you?
After finishing the script, I just couldn't imagine handing it over to anyone else. Directing felt like a natural extension of the writing process. I also spent years as an actor so I felt I had the right inner compass to navigate the story in every way.
What challenges were presented along the way?
Every day on set is a collage of various challenges, too many to single out. For me, the most extreme challenge of making your first film is that you are a different director every day. The second day you know a hundred percent more than you knew the day before (and on and on) which is terrific but also makes you wish for a time machine sometimes.
Why was important to you to direct this film?
It's a deeply personal story for me, the emotionality of it. When I was writing the film, it felt very much like the characters were revealing themselves to me, opposed to my inventing anything. I had spent years getting to know them and I think it was important that understanding got poured into the permanent actualization.
How did you build an environment while shooting that enabled you to see your vision through?
Collaboration. The two most important things a director does is choose their collaborators and communicate. The design team and my cinematographer are my creative soulmates. I am very lucky to have found them so early in my career. We had a true synchronicity that made working together really exciting and organic. The cast as well. And the crew, too.
What do you think about the conversation happening right now about female directors in Hollywood?
I think it is so important and long, long overdue. It's exciting to be coming up at a time when this is finally asserting itself, but also frustrating and frankly, sad that it is such a battle. I had to fight to get my first directing job and I find that despite the success of it, I am still fighting for my second.
What would you tell aspiring female filmmakers?
Keep fighting. And don't be afraid of being labeled as "difficult"— you're not difficult, you're driven and direct. You have convictions and are your own strongest advocate. Loosely translated by the current powers that be, that all seems to fall under "difficult" if you're a woman. Don't be afraid of that and don't bend to it.
Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, co-creator and executive producer of UnREAL at TedxWomen.
THE LIFETIME SCOREBOARD
Variety Names 2016 Directors to Watch
Vulture Publishes List of 100 Women Directors
Female Directors Patricia Riggen and Jessie Nelson on Getting a Foothold in Hollywood: 'It Hasn’t Been Fun at All'
Boxed In Report Tells the Truth about Women in TV
Here's How Much Hollywood Is (Not) Investing in Women
Refinery29 is launching ShatterBox Anthology
Ava DuVernay Says Her New Show Will Have "an All-Women Directorial Team"
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
February 1 | Manson’s Lost Girls/Broad Focus Screening
A conversation with director, Leslie Libman, will follow the screening of the film.
February 2 | Tuesday Nights Speaker Series: Manson’s Lost Girls/Broad Focus
A panel of experts across film, TV, VR, digital and books (including Manson's Lost Girls' director, Leslie Libman) will speak to a collaborative community of female executives and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.
February 6 | DGA Awards
Cheer Lifetime nominees Angela Bassett and Laurie Collyer.
February 17 | WeForShe DirectHer Party Lifetime will host an event for WeForShe’s DirectHer Program, whose goal is to facilitate more women working behind the camera, directing episodic television. Established directors will volunteer to supervise a deserving female director who has yet to direct a primetime or full-length digital episode.
February 26 | Symposium with Bentonville Film Festival featuring Geena Davis and Catherine Hardwicke
Lifetime is co-hosting this event which features Liftime's Bentonville Film Festival acquisition, Jack of the Red Hearts, directed by Janet Grillo and produced by Lucy Mukerjee-Brown and Morgan White.
March (TBD) | AFI and A+E Partnership Launch
Members of the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women will visit the A+E offices to meet our programmers as we begin to parlay the skills and career aspirations of each woman involved to an employment opportunity within our company.
April 12 | AFI Showcase
Lifetime is the lead sponsor of the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women Showcase where the films of the Class of 2016 will be presented, celebrating the talent and unique voices of filmmakers whose work will soon be seen on screens around the world.
Footnotes: All stats according to Nielsen research.1. W25-54, W18-49, A25-54, A18-49 and Total Adults 2. A25-54, W25-54, A18-49, and W18-49.