“Redefining Identity, Imagination, and Storytelling Through the Female Lens”: Refinery29 + Level Forward Present Shatterbox at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Filmmaker Magazine | 11/8/2019 | Lauren Wissot
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by Lauren Wissot

But scratch below the Hollywood-tinged surface and you’ll find an event equally concerned with giving its mostly young, genuinely hungry-for-knowledge attendees with a behind-the-scenes education in the business of bringing dreams to the screen. And the festival’s refreshing focus on female empowerment was something to be lauded as well. For in addition to screening over 50 women-helmed films this year, not to mention showcasing the third edition of the always informative Wonder Women Panel series, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival highlighted a program titled “Refinery29 + Level Forward Present Shatterbox.” For those not in the know, Shatterbox launched back in 2016 (birthed by Refinery29 and Level Forward) in order to provide female shorts-makers with the means to tell the wide-ranging stories they’re fighting to tell.

USC - Annenberg - Research - Dr - Stacy

“We’d actually been sent the USC Annenberg research from Dr. Stacy Smith, which showed that for the last 10 years (from 2001-2016) there had been no change in the number of women and minority directors represented in the industry,” explained gatekeeper Shannon Gibson (Executive Producer, Scripted Program/Shatterbox Film program) via email after I caught up with her post-fest to ask why the entity had been set up in the first place. “In fact, in 2018 the number of female directors working on top-earning films actually declined from 11% to 7% from the year before. Combining this research with our own research that we’d done at Refinery29, we looked at what we as an organization could do that would make a difference in the industry.”

“We knew we couldn’t solve the problem because it’s a big problem,” Gibson continued, “but we knew there were things we could do with the resources we had. So we created a program that was born out of this need to move the film industry forward, and where we...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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