No matter how you look at it, the numbers are pretty stacked against young women who want to direct feature films. But rather than sit around and complain about it (as cathartic as that may be), a far more productive approach is for women (and men) who have made it in Hollywood to mentor promising female filmmakers and teach them what they have learned— a “young girls’ club,” if you will.
The Horizon Award, a new initiative led by three big-name Hollywood producers, aims to do that by sending female film students and recent graduates to Sundance for an immersive crash course in the business of filmmaking. Each year, a winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where they will receive mentorship advice from producers Christine Vachon (Boys Don’t Cry) and Lynette Howell (Blue Valentine), as well as producer/former William Morris agent Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club).
To apply, filmmakers must submit a two-minute short film (or a two-minute clip from a longer project) through the award’s website, where potential candidates can also read the fine print. And those of us who graduated from film school way more than six months ago can also get involved by donating to the program’s Indiegogo campaign, which is hoping to raise $15,000 to go towards this year’s prize ($5,000 of which will be personally matched by Elwes) as well as fund future awards.