Alterna-Oscars–Vote for Women Directors!

auroraguerreroWhen you’re marking your Oscar ballot tomorrow night and hoping that you win the betting pool, note once again that there are NO women directors on it. Not just Kathryn Bigelow (ZeroDarkThirty) is missing (despite her film being nominated for Best Picture), but so are a number of other fine women who have helmed terrific movies in the past year.

In fact, as Women and Hollywood founder and editor Melissa Silverstein points out, in 85 years there have only been four women nominated as best director and only one (Bigelow) won.

So for the second year in a row, Silverstein has put together a video of clips from films made by women directors, titled, “To the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Please Consider These Women (Among Others) Not Nominated This Year.” Here it is:

Maybe somewhere between the red carpet festivities and Adele singing “Skyfall” you can share this video with Oscar-watching friends and make a list of some women-directed films to Netflix in the coming months! Or hold your own alterna-vote for Best Director that only includes women nominees!

P.S. Which of the films in the video have you already seen and can particularly recommend?

Photo of Aurora Guerrero, director of this year’s lauded indie film Mosquita y Mari



  1. I saw Zero Dark Thirty. I was surprised to find out that the false claim that a name is produced by water boarding is not in the film. As Ava and C.I. have pointed out, it’s not even in the script:
    The criticism of that film was uniformed and sexist. Bret Easton Ellis and David Bromwitch (see the link) talking about what women can direct and can’t. But I felt those two with their sexist remarks were more honest than a lot of the attackers of the film because what really got under the attackers skin was that a woman directed it. It’s not a pro-torture film. But it shows torture and they’ve looked the other way while male directors have (even when male directors glorified torture). I rarely go to the movies anymore. I ended up seeing Zero Dark Thirty three times. I was so excited about movies again that I went and saw Side Effects. And all of its anti-women attitude killed off any enthusiasm I might have for movies. It’s amazing to me that there was a pile on by various ‘activists’ on Bigelow and her film (with some griping about ‘the girl’ and how they were sick of all these movies about ‘the girl’ — where are all those movies because I haven’t seen them) but the same ‘activists’ never call out sexism. If they did, Side Effects would have had a pile on — for its portrayal of women, for its use of the ‘devious’ and ‘disturbed’ lesbian, etc.

  2. Martha,

    I agree with you! Just saw Side Effects and found it completely offensive.

    But what else is new? The ceremony was blasted today:

    Calif. female lawmakers condemn Oscar host
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Wed Feb 27, 10:32 AM

    Two female California state lawmakers have condemned Oscar host Seth MacFarlane’s comments during Sunday’s awards presentation as degrading toward women and asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to use better judgment in the future.
    Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the Legislature’s women’s caucus, sent a letter to Academy President Hawk Koch on Tuesday, requesting that the organization disavow MacFarlane’s behavior.
    They objected to the comedian’s focus on the physical appearance of several actresses and quips about nude scenes.
    “Furthermore, there was a disturbing theme about violence against women being acceptable and funny,” the lawmakers wrote. “From topical jabs about domestic violence to singing about `boobs’ during a film’s rape scene, Seth MacFarlane crossed the line from humor to misogyny.”
    MacFarlane’s performance has drawn multiple critics since Sunday’s show. Blogs compiled highlights of his punch lines, which included a song that referenced leading ladies who have bared their breasts on film that were accompanied by reaction shots from those actresses.
    He also made light of a domestic violence incident between rapper Chris Brown and singer Rihanna, and joked about the heavy accents of several Latina actresses.
    “On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane’s monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself,” the letter stated.

    Lowenthal and Jackson, both Democrats, asked Koch to respond. Academy spokeswoman Toni Thompson had no immediate comment.
    In their letter, the lawmakers noted the Violence Against Women Act currently under debate in Congress and a resolution that the Legislature passed supporting the act’s reauthorization. Better judgment is needed in the academy’s future decisions regarding its awards show hosts and their material, they said.
    “This should be a celebration of artists in the filmmaking industry, not an offensive display of disrespect toward women that sets the fight for gender equality, dignity, and respect back decades,” they wrote.

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