We have all seen the statistics about women’s lack of representation in the film & television industry. We have also seen an increase in programs designed to give women opportunities to succeed in the business. Yet the statistics seem to be moving forward at a glacial pace. How do we create a sustainable industry where women have a space to thrive and succeed. Join industry experts as we discuss this very current topic!
Moderated by Juliana Lukasik / Director and founder of @Large Films
Lara Gallagher / Director, American Gladiators (POWFest 2015)
Eliza Hajek / SAGIndie
Tara Johnson-Medinger / Producer & POWFest Executive Director
Dawn Jones Redstone / Director, Sista in the Brotherhood (POWFest 2016) and owner Hearts & Sparks Productions
Melissa Silverstein / Founder, Women & Hollywood Blog and The Athena Film Festival
Juliana Lukasik has produced & directed commercial projects that have won Emmy, Addy, and Telly Awards. She is also the Principal and Owner of @Large Films a national commercial production company based in Portland, Oregon. She is a past President and current board member of the business association, CEIC (Central Eastside Industrial Council) and a proud supporter of Girls, Inc. In 2013, the Portland Business Journal named her Female Executive of the Year Small/Medium Company. She also is a governor appointed board member for the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television and was recently elected Chair of the Board. Juliana is an outspoken advocate for gender equality, especially for women in creative leadership roles in the media industry.
Lara Gallagher is a writer and director originally from rural Pennsylvania where she was raised on a steady stream of television, polka, processed food, and wooded warfare with her three sisters. Her work focuses on small towns, dysfunctional families, and the kind of humor and relationships that are only possible when everything else is screwed up. Her shorts and music videos have screened at SXSW, Palm Springs Shortfest, Mill Valley, Portland International, DC Shorts, and online via Pitchfork, Spin, Rolling Stone, and NPR, among others. Lara recently earned her Directing MFA (with honors!) from Columbia University and was named one of IFP’s 2015 Emerging Storytellers. She is currently living and developing a feature film in Portland, Oregon.
Eliza Hajek was born with a vestigial tail! Her parents took her around the world in a traveling show featuring other aberrations, where she was the star. When interest in her died down, she consulted a wise man who told her she would become rich and famous after moving to Los Angeles and becoming involved in film. Looks like he was right! Her duties as Manager of Development and Sponsorship encompass (among other things) traveling to film festivals, speaking on panels and at seminars, and interacting with independent producers worldwide in order to get the word out about the SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements.
Tara Johnson-Medinger is a film producer, MY SUMMER AS A GOTH, CITY BABY(2013), ROCK N ROLL MAMAS (2013) & THE WINDING STREAM (Premiere SXSW 2014 / Theatrical Premiere 2015). She is also the Executive Director of The Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POWFest) and founder of Sour Apple Productions. She served on the founding board of directors of the Women in Film Portland Chapter (WIF-PDX) for three years and was awarded the2013 Service & Inspiration Award by the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA). Before moving to Portland, she was a manager of affiliate promotion at the FOX Broadcasting Company in Los Angeles for six years. Through her production work as well as POWFest, Tara wants to promote and create new opportunities for women filmmakers not only in Oregon but world-wide.
Dawn Jones Redstone, Director of Sista in the Brotherhood, is an award-winning filmmaker and owner of Hearts+Sparks Productions in Portland, Oregon. As an artist, she is fascinated by stories of personal transformationand committed to promoting women and people of color in film. She’s also a journey-level carpenter.
Melissa Silverstein is a writer and speaker with an extensive expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film as well as other areas of pop culture. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry. She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival — A Celebration of Women and Leadership — at Barnard College in NYC. The sixth annual festival took place from February 18-21, 2016.