Female filmmakers offer insight on the entertainment industry


Khayla Gaston

Panelists pose for a picture before beginning their discussion about being female filmmakers. The panelists shared their thoughts on how the film and entertainment industries are becoming more accessible to women and where they see it going in the future. Photo credit: Khayla Gaston

Khayla Gaston

Future female filmmakers were left inspired and confident in their ability to be successful in a male-dominated industry thanks to the panel “Conversations with Women in Film.”

Hosted by the Women’s Resource Center, the panel featured Mridu Chandra, a film producer and mentor to short film-makers; Amanda Salazar, a film festival programmer; and Sasha Solodukhina, a director and producer.

Salazar started the discussion by sharing her involvement in the San Francisco International Film Festival and how she plays a role in making sure that the work of women and minorities are among the types of films the festival promotes.

“Festivals are becoming accountable for female inclusion and for people of color representation,” said Salazar. “This is great. We need to get more women behind the camera to make the work.”

Festivals have become a way for women and minorities to gain recognition for their work since they are not a private studio and give anyone the opportunity to participate, according to Chandra.

”From a filmmaker’s perspective, festivals are outside of the studio system. So, it allows you a way to find someone who likes your work and wants to launch you,” said Chandra. “The exposure allows you to leverage yourself within the industry. You’re more confident.”

Salazar added that this exposure allows for more women to work their way up in the industry and explained the importance of working on a film set where the crew largely consists of women.

“The opportunities when working with an all female crew feel more significant because you get few of them. I think it’s great to have diversity on sets,” said Salazar.

Everyone in the film industry may have a different approach to how they will become successful in their careers. Still, the panelists agreed that being supportive of other women in the industry, rather than seeing each other as competition, can help the business move toward a more diverse future.

“There’s a lot more power to realizing that you’re actually in the same game and if you both say things out loud and help each other out it actually makes you a lot stronger,” said Solodukhina.

Although female filmmakers are becoming more prominent in the industry, there is still progress to be made.