February 24, 2008

Independent Spirit Awards

I love watching the Independent Spirit Awards because the attendees wear normal clothes and look like they are enjoying themselves rather than being stuffed into tight dresses and shoes too high without any food or drink for several long hours.

So the first big award show post-writers strike gave a couple of awards to some women, including Diablo Cody for best first screenplay for Juno, and Tamara Jenkins for best screenplay for The Savages. Jenkins had a hard journey since her first film (The Slums of Beverly Hills) almost 10 years ago. Best quote of the evening was from Jenkins in describing getting the financing for her film: "A lot of people in this room didn't want to finance this movie."

I got pissed off at the Someone to Watch Award which includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant to an emerging filmmaker. All (3) of the nominees were guys. Now, this is right after Dawn Hudson who runs Film Independent, the sponsor of the spirit award just talked about the importance of diversity to the organization. Diversity of color is extremely important, but diversity of gender is important too. The lack of opportunities available for women directors is not a topic these folks are unaware of, and I would think that they would try and take the opportunity to highlight at least ONE emerging woman director. Please don't tell me that ONE couldn't be found.