A new, nonprofit organization created to finance and produce films, documentaries, TV and other forms of media dedicated to the empowerment of women has been launched with a mission to create content that will change perceptions of female stereotypes. On the advisory board of the company, named We Do It Together, are Jessica Chastain, Juliette Binoche, Freida Pinto, Queen Latifah, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke and actress Ziyi Zhang, to name a few.
The move comes after the revelation last fall that the The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was interviewing dozens of female directors about the discrimination they face in both film and television. Women currently receive only 16% of the episodic TV directing jobs, and last year directed less than 5% of the major studio movie releases.
We Do It Together looks to change this. They say they will raise capital from grants, governments, corporate sponsors, and individual donations to invest in the production of films, proceeds from which will be reinvested in the company to create a self-sustaining organization prepared to invest in additional films. The first film through this new company will be announced at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The board also consists of such creative talent as male director Hany Abu-Assad; A United Kingdom director Amma Asante; The Diary Of A Teenage Girl director, writer and actress Marielle Heller; City Of God director Katia Lund; Elles director Małgorzata Szumowska; actress, producer and writer Alysia Reiner; Henry Louis Gates; and Wadjda director Haifaa Al Mansour.
The board will be responsible for collaborating on the slate of films they will produce. They also plan to start local chapters to make regional impacts.
The organization’s launch comes as the company readies itself for its first public speaker platform, with We Do It Together scheduled to participate at the United Nations’ 3rd Annual Power of Collaboration Global Summit on February 29th. Speaking to the topic of “A Glimpse to Next Stop: Conversations With Men (And Women) in Hollywood,” board member and founder Chiara Tilesi will be presenting the new international non-profit production company model and discussing the organization’s mission of challenging the status quo, producing movies by women and about women, while changing deep-seated perceptions about female stereotypes.
Sitting on the board of directors of We Do It Together are producer Albert Berger; DDA Partner Dana Archer; The Gersh Agency’s Sandra Lucchesi; Mosaic manager Paul Nelson; Producer-Director Carol Polakoff; Primetime Emmy-winning producer Shelby Stone; producer and philanthropist Tilesi; and Septembers of Shiraz writer and producer Hanna Weg.