Underrepresented Women in the Film and TV Industry

I’m declaring 2018 The Year of the Woman. From the Women’s March to the Time’s Up movement to the 156 brave women who testified against Larry Nassar, women have been proving that our stories deserve to be heard - so why not show that in the media? There are not enough stories being told about women, and even less being told by women. For your viewing pleasure, I have rounded up some of my favorite female-centric shows and movies you can binge watch that were created by women.  

1. Insecure. Insecure is an HBO series created, written by and starring Issa Rae. It follows two friends in their late 20s as they explore relationships, careers, and what it means to be a black female in America right now. Rae received two Golden Globe nominations for her work on the show, and has consequently opened up the doors to conversations about race and gender.  

2. Frances Ha. Greta Gerwig is only the fifth woman to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards this year for her film Lady Bird. However, if you’ve already seen Gerwig’s beautiful tribute to female friendship and the ever confounding mother-daughter dynamic, I recommend checking out Frances Ha. Gerwig co-wrote and starred in the film. She plays Frances, a modern dancer who doesn't dance. The film follows her life around New York City and her friendship with Sophie, her other half. Bonus points: it’s on Netflix.  

3. Battle of the Sexes. Co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton tell the story of Billie Jean King and her match against Bobby Riggs, a man who claimed women didn't belong in tennis and that men were the superior sex. The film explores misogyny in the 1970's (a concept that doesn't seem too foreign to me, even in 2018), as well as Billie Jean King coming to grips with her sexuality as she explores a relationship with a woman on the road. The film was, in my opinion, wrongfully snubbed at the Academy Awards this year. However, this is a great testament to how far women have come in thirty years, and encourages us to ask the question, “Where will we be in another thirty?”  

  

4. Step. A documentary directed by Amanda Lipitz, Step follows senior girls in an inner-city high school in Baltimore as they use dance to cope with problems in their community, and as a pathway to becoming the first in their families to attend college. The documentary highlights their sisterhood and successes at the all-female high school. It’s a great look at what young women are doing to increase their opportunities and support other women around them.  

5. A Ballerina’s Tale. Alright, you caught me. Although a woman didn't create this film, it does tell the story of an incredible one: Misty Copeland. Copeland was the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater. The film looks into identity and how it affects us, shows what it means to feel “different” and how to be resilient in the face of adversity. 

There are hundreds upon thousands of talented women in the film and television industries working to achieve the things women like Gerwig have. It’s time the men move over and watch what some pretty kicka** women can do (or at least work with us better, but that’s another article).  

Riley is a junior at Santa Clara University majoring in English and minoring in French and Francophone Studies. Though she studies two beautiful languages with rich vocabularies, she is often heard tossing around eloquent words and phrases such as, "cool dude," or "rad." If you have a dog, she'll ask to pet it.

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