Cinefemme Launches Innovative Membership Programs For Women Filmmakers

(Hollywood, CA – January 29, 2016) The acclaimed non-profit organization Cinefemme is now offering inclusive, professional membership to women key creatives everywhere. Founded by women filmmakers, for women filmmakers to provide fiscal sponsorship for innovative filmmaking projects, Cinefemme has expanded to offer a series of ground-breaking programs, events and screenings that connect women filmmakers and foster opportunities to green-light their films.

Who can be a Cinefemme? Any key creative (producer, director, screenwriter, editor, cinematographer, composer, production designer, sound engineer, VFX artist, special effects makeup artist, costume designer, PR/marketing executive, distributor, casting director, manager/agent, development executive, etc.) who identifies as a woman or non-binary can apply to become an official Cinefemme member. Members have access to apply for all of the brand-new programs, including the exclusive Dinner with Dames mentorship events, distribution through the official Seed & Spark Cinefemme Channel, film festival member panels and appearances, the film-and-females focused The Test podcast, and members-only press contacts and promotion. Cinefemme is still going to offer fiscal sponsorship to select filmmakers as it has since 2002, and is bringing back the official Cinefemme Film Festival in 2017.

Michelle Kantor, Founder and Executive Director of Cinefemme, spearheaded many of these new initiatives, including the brand new Cinefemme Directors Collective.  Kantor says, “The Cinefemme Directors Collective gives a much-needed home to hundreds of talented and high caliber women directors who are pushing each other to be the best directors they can be.”  A cutting-edge network of female-identified and non-binary film and media directors who create boundary-breaking content, The Collective is passionate about the craft of directing and committed to raising the bar in our creative industries.  With regular meetings and events dedicated to supporting creators, Cinefemme is fostering the next wave of directors whom the industry cannot ignore.

Kantor believes in fostering an inclusive community for women filmmakers everywhere. “Women have been asking me for years about how they can become Cinefemme,” she explains. “Unless they were actively fundraising for a project and needed a fiscal agent, there wasn’t a good way to involve them. Our mission is inclusion, and launching our membership is a huge step towards our including more women, while also continuing our targeted efforts to nurture individual women-lead projects. For women to see a real difference in Hollywood, they need to connect with each other both above and below the line. Cinefemme has attracted some of the best women in the business and we are co-creating an organization that is truly empowered and empowering. We have the freedom to see our visions come to life and the heart to rise up with other women. You’ll want to keep an eye on Cinefemmes… we are rocking the boat, in a good way.”

Jenna Payne, Program Director of Cinefemme’s exclusive Dinner with Dames intimate mentorship program has already seen filmmakers benefit from attending. “I’m excited to say that some of our participants have shared materials with their dinner hosts,” she says. “We also have expanded some industry leaders’ views on the systemic, sometimes unconscious, bias against women in the film industry. I feel confident that it’s only a matter of time before our dames make serious inroads into Hollywood, and I’m ecstatic to see this progress.” Dinner with Dames VIP mentors include Simon Barrett (The Guest, You’re Next), Zoe Bell (Camino, The Hateful Eight), Brandon Blake (Entertainment Attorney), David Boxerbaum (Paradigm), Dean Cundey (Jurassic Park, Back to the Future), Paul Feig (Ghostbusters, Spy), Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale), Morgan Long (Gersh), Elvia Van Es (VP, Development at TLC), Joseph Weisberg (The Americans), and Byron Willinger (The Commuter).

Also making its debut with the new membership launch is The Test: the official podcast of Cinefemme. Co-hosts Michal Sinnott and Jessica Rotondi curate an inclusive and intimate conversation in their living room with one woman from a rotating and diverse list of entertainment industry professionals. Based on The Bechdel Test, ‘The Test’ helps raise awareness to create greater gender equality both in front of and behind the scenes of film & television.  “The Test provides a ‘how to guide’ of sorts,” says Sinnott, “for how to make it in Hollywood as a member of the female tribe.”  The Test’s first podcast officially launches on January 31, 2017 and features Cinefemme’s Founder and Executive Director Michelle Kantor.

In addition, Cinefemme will be bringing the acclaimed women’s film festival Bluestocking Film Series to Los Angeles in 2017.  A long-time fiscal sponsoree, Bluestocking partnered with Cinefemme in 2017 and is now an official Cinefemme program.  “I’m very happy to be able to work with Bluestocking founder Kate Kaminski at long last. Her festival is one of the most important events for women filmmakers in North America, and we’re very happy to include it under the Cinefemme banner,” says VP of Membership and Events Heidi Honeycutt.

Cinefemme membership is open now: cinefemme.net/join

Follow Cinefemme: @cinefemmefilms

About Cinefemme

Cinefemme is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded by women filmmakers, for women filmmakers in 2002.  Cinefemme provides fiscal sponsorship to women filmmakers and artists, as well as peer-to-peer networking, mentorship, and strategies for project fundraising.  By advancing women’s careers in film and the arts, they empower women’s voices to create gender parity in the arts and equal representation in the media. For more information, please visit www.cinefemme.net

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