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USA TODAY-Chastain, Latifah join production company focused on female empowerment

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Chastain, Latifah join production company focused on female empowerment

Discrimination against women in the entertainment industry is hardly a new phenomenon. But one organization is campaigning to change the landscape of film and TV and challenge the extant, stereotypical depictions of women on-screen.

Founded by Italian producer and philanthropist Chiara Tilesi, nonprofit production company, We Do It Together, is seeking to develop a slate of empowering films and TV series conceived by emerging female talent.

As reported by Deadline, the company’s launch comes in the wake of reports from the Directors Guild of America and Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which examined the number of women in key behind-the-scenes roles last year with sobering results. Per the reports, women only nabbed 16% of the episodic TV directing jobs and directed less than 5% of the major studio releases in 2015.

Serving as the team’s creative talent are Belle director Amma Asante, male director Hany Abu-Assad, City Of God director Katia Lund, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl director, writer and actress Marielle Heller, actress, producer and writer Alysia Reiner, Henry Louis Gates, Wadjda director Haifaa Al Mansou and Elles director Małgorzata Szumowska.

Among members of the board of directors are Tilesi, Emmy-winning producer Shelby Stone, Albert Berger, Mosaic manager Paul Nelson, DDA partner Dana Archer, producer-director Carol Polakoff, The Gersh Agency’s Sandra Lucchesi and Septembers of Shiraz writer and producer Hanna Weg.

According to Deadline, We Do It Together will finance production through grants, corporate sponsors and individual donations, and will redirect the proceeds from its projects back into the company to create a self-sustaining model. The nonprofit is slated to announce their film at the Cannes Film Festival in May.