Dear friends-

A little over 15 years ago I had a crazy idea: to try and start a conversation asking where the women were in front of the camera and behind the scenes in Hollywood. I called my blog Women and Hollywood because to me, Hollywood is everywhere. My exploration grew into a calling that I never expected. It allowed me to travel across the globe speaking with others who were passionate about this issue. The work helped birth the Athena Film Festival, which is now a full-fledged teenager at thirteen years old.

Fifteen years later, the conversation is fully embedded in our culture and is covered by mainstream outlets. Women, some of whom got their start at Women and Hollywood, are working in a wide variety of roles across the industry. It was not too long ago that it was always a surprise when a series had a woman director as part of its season. Now, it’s unacceptable if they don’t. The work is not done, far from it, but in order to continue the revolution, evolution is necessary.

It’s time for Women and Hollywood 2.0.

As of April 1, The Women and Hollywood blog will no longer be publishing original stories. We will keep the site live because it has become a great resource, particularly for students of the industry.

Have no fear: I will still be launching the truth bombs and amplifying women’s voices. But it will be in a different way. In Her Voice: A Women and Hollywood Podcast will launch in April and it will be a place where I will cover news and interview creatives. I am excited to get back to talking to the women who are effecting change and well as those whose creative visions are coming to our screens.

We will continue the weekly publication of the Women and Hollywood Newsletter of content by and about women and non-binary people opening in theaters and streaming. The Girls Club, our community for women and nonbinary creatives to connect and support each other, is thriving.

Over the years, particularly through my work in the Creative Development Program at the Athena Film Festival, I have realized that I not only want to discuss the change that we need to see, but I want to be a part of it. To that end, I will be launching the Creative Doula Program. Part strategic consultant, part doula, we will be the creative advocates for these talented voices and projects written by women or non-binary writers that have women/girls at the center of the stories.

There are many people to thank for the success of Women and Hollywood. First thanks goes to the Dobkin Family Foundation for its continued support. There would be no Women and Hollywood without the Dobkin Family Foundation. The team – writers, editors, fellows, interns, social media mavens. Nobody does this work alone. I have been so lucky to have people who cared about the work as passionately as I did, particularly Laura Berger, who convinced me almost a decade ago that I needed an intern and is now in charge of everything that goes on the site. Everyone who has been a part of the work over the years has had an immense contribution in keeping women front and center in the narrative.

I wouldn’t be able to make this shift if I didn’t believe that I’d accomplished what I set out to do 15 years ago. I couldn’t be more thrilled that the conversation is thriving and robust and that a new generation has taken up the mantle and is pushing for more and more change. I am so excited to continue to be a part of this movement.

Onward,

Melissa