Jessica Chastain, Queen Latifah and More Launch Female-Empowerment Production Company
The board of directors includes producer Albert Berger; DDA Partner Dana Archer; the Gersh Agency’s Sandra Lucchesi; Mosaic manager Paul Nelson; producer-director Carol Polakoff; producer Shelby Stone; producer-philanthropist Chiara Tilesi; and “Septembers of Shiraz” writer-producer Hanna Weg.
The advisory board includes Chastain, Latifah, Binoche and Harwicke along with Freida Pinto; director Hany Abu-Assad; actress Zhang Ziyi; “Belle” director Amma Asante; “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller; “City of God” director Katia Lund; “Elles” director Małgorzata Szumowska; actress Alysia Reiner; National Humanities Medal honoree Henry Louis Gates; and “Wadjda” director Haifaa Al-Mansour.
WDIT will raise capital from grants, governments, corporate sponsors and individual donations to invest in the production of films. The proceeds will be reinvested in the company to create a self-sustaining organization to invest in additional films.
The organization is scheduled to participate at the United Nations’ Third Annual Power of Collaboration Global Summit on Feb. 29. Board member and founder Chiara Tilesi will be discussing the nonprofit production company model and the organization’s mission of challenging the status quo and producing movies by and about women — while changing perceptions about female stereotypes.
“We hope in the future we won’t have a need for dedicated niche financing for films by and about women,” said Tilesi.
“Film has always possessed the power to defy convention and change hearts and minds, and this power and potential must be harnessed to challenge the current archaic norms related to women within the entertainment industry. We feel that the way to make this a reality is to give women from around the world a concrete way to express themselves and an on-going structure that will ensure that these stories will be financed and distributed.”
Other members of the advisory board include Phil Lord, Len Amato, Avy Kaufman, Stacey Sher, Hylda Queally, Nina L. Shaw, Mark Gill, Michelle Satter, Mike Goodridge, Katia Lund, Michele Mulroney, Jennifer Naughton, Evelyn O’Neill, Janet C. Salazar, Marianne Slot, Alesia Weston, Éric Garandeau, Sasha Markova, Paul Zaentz and Amira Diab.