by Melissa Silverstein
Book Review by Ann Baldwin
Melissa Silverstein is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Athena Film Festival held at Barnard College in New York. She’s on the advisory board of the Women’s Media Center and a member of NY Women in Film and TV. She was the founding project director for The White House Project and Chief of Staff at the Ms. Foundation for Women. She has created social media campaigns and events for a variety of films such as My Week with Marilyn, The Iron Lady, Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words, Revolutionary Road, Becoming Jane, and The Hours. Her work has been featured on CNN, the BBC as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, Washington Post, and NY Times among others. Women and Hollywood was named one of the top 100 websites for women by ForbesWoman in 2012 and 2011. In Melissa’s new book, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, volume one (Women and Hollywood 2013), She expands your perspective on filmmaking and heightens your awareness of some remarkable filmmakers and intriguing films by interviewing over 40 women directors of features and documentaries from the U.S. and abroad.
You’ll hear a variety of compelling stories not only about these directors, but the characters within their films as well. Many of these directors are also writers, actresses, cinematographers, and/or producers, which adds to their vast array of experience and knowledge. Melissa’s interviews include a brief biography of each director with links to their Imdb page, film website, and movie trailers.
Some of the diverse voices you get to listen to are from directors such as Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Courtney Hunt (Frozen River), Callie Khouri (Mad Money), Roberta Grossman (Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh), Gini Retiker and Abigail Disney (Pray the Devil Back to Hell), Hannah Rothchild (The Jazz Baroness), Katherine Dieckmann (Motherhood), Alison Eastwood (Rails & Ties), Amy Redford (The Guitar), Shana Feste (The Greatest), Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me), Lynn Shelton (Humpday), Sally Potter (Rage), Lone Scherfig (An Education), and Susanna White (Nanny McPhee Returns).
Melissa’s questions are insightful, respectful, and intelligent producing some illuminating, uplifting, empowering, and inspiring answers. In Her Voice is like a breath of fresh air in a healthy, organic garden. I highly recommend for all filmmakers who want to enrich their knowledge about the craft and everyone who wants to learn about the other half of the films being made, so they can explore, experience, and enjoy them.
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