“The Celluloid Ceiling”: Hollywood Film Makers and Female Empowerment

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by Jasmine Davis

If you’re wondering how to empower women in Hollywood, then you’ve stumbled upon the question du jour in Hollywood these days. Women in film may be more prominent than ever, but they still make up an embarrassingly small portion of people in the film industry overall. In fact, CNN recently wrote an article about the “celluloid ceiling” that women are up against. They predict that female directors will soon “take center stage” in Hollywood.

Of course, female empowerment isn’t as simple as proclaiming that female directors are all the rage, then sitting back. There is still plenty of opposition or even mere apathy to the idea of women in film. Rather than standing up and being vocal, many women in film are content to sit back and let the men continue to take control of Hollywood financing and filmmaking.

Part of the issue is the lack of female role models in the film industry. While women like Kathryn Bigelow and Mimi Leder have proven that women are capable of directing action flicks as well as men, in general, there are fewer women role models to show off female empowerment in films to younger generations.

Fortunately, programs like Film Annex’s Afghan Development Project are set to change this fact. They’re focusing on building connected classrooms in countries like Afghanistan and helping students to learn about social media and filmmaking. By putting more women in Afghanistan behind the camera (and online, where they can participate in online film distribution), a new crop of inspirational women filmmakers could be coming up through the ranks. The same can be said of many countries - even in the US, women filmmakers make up half of all students in film school.

Breaking through the “celluloid ceiling” built by Hollywood film makers is going to require many different voices from around the world to proclaim their interest in women-based filmmaking. Sites like Women’s Annex are poised to help bring more ladies into the fold. As we’ve mentioned before, adding social media to the mix lets people tell their stories and voice their opinions on things like women in film. By combining all these factors, we’re well poised to smash through the celluloid ceiling once and for all.

About the author


WHO WE ARE The Digital Citizen Fund" knowing formally Women’s Annex Foundation" is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in New York City which has set out to help girls and women in developing countries gain access to technology, virtually connect with others across the world, and obtain necessary skills to…

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