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Where All my Ladies at in the Microbudget, Independent Filmmaking Revolution?

by Vera Miao.

Have you ever heard of the “Bechdel Test”?

Invented by Alison Bechdel in her classic comic series, Dykes to Watch Out For, this ingeniously simple test has only three criteria to apply to any movie: (1) it has to have at least two women in it who (2) talk to each other about (3) something besides a man.

As an actress and filmmaker, I will not tempt depression and existential crisis again by thinking too hard about how many movies stand up to the Bechdel Test. But go ahead. Do it.

In 2006, I took a deep breath and left my full-time career in the non-profit, social justice world to test my theory that acting could be another step in doing my small part to create social change, this time through storytelling. And while I still believe in the beautiful, transformative power of storytelling, Hollywood has taught me a lot of hard realities about who really gets to tell what stories.The Bechdel Test says it much more simply. I shudder to think if any movies would hold up if we factored in people of color or of different sexual orientation in addition to women (or God forbid, all three).

Out of all movies in the U.S. released in 2011, only 5% were directed by women, 4% shot by women, 14% written by women, and 25% produced by women.

Read the rest of this article from Huffington Post.

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