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Patricia Clarkson, Katie Holmes, Olivia Wilde Celebrate Tribeca and Chanel’s Women’s Filmmaker Program

Patricia Clarkson, Katie Holmes, Olivia Wilde and Meg Ryan were among a bevy of high profile women in Hollywood who came downtown to Tribeca’s Locanda Verde restaurant to show their support for Tribeca Enterprises and Chanel’s inaugural Through Her Lens program.

Presented in collaboration with Pulse Films and facilitated by the nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute, the new program will support emerging women screenwriters and directors via a three-day workshop for seven rising filmmakers with master classes, one-on-one mentorship, peer-to-peer sessions, and will award $75,000 for project development.

Hosted by CEO of Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Enterprises’ Paula Weinstein and Chanel Global CEO Maureen Chiquet, the female-dominated lunch sparked plenty of conversation about Hollywood’s sexist work environments, wage disparity, lack of job opportunity both in front of and behind the camera, and other wrongful behavior.

However, there’s great reason to be positive. “I think what is happening in the new generation is the desire to help other women,” said Weinstein. “There isn’t just one of us anymore. When Sherry (Lansing) got named head of the studio she was number one, I was number two, and Amy (Pascal) was number three. We were all counting how many of us there were and it’s time to stop that.”

Clarkson – a jury member alongside Julianne Moore, Mary Harron, Mynette Louie and Rebecca Miller – expressed relief that conversations about the issue are leading to action.

“We can keep talking about, but actually Tribeca is actually doing something about it,” Clarkson said. “We have to make women a priority. I have a project coming up and I’m like, ‘it has to be directed by a woman.’ Big studios, and producers have to make (hiring women) a priority and a goal because we have to increase the odds of women working again. And you can’t work again until you’ve worked.”

Program mentor Catherine Hardwicke said that she wished there was a Through Her Lens available to her when she was launching her career.

“Before Sundance (and her film “Thirteen”), during all those years when I was trying to direct and I thought, ‘I’m not working hard enough.’ Or I don’t know the right people or I didn’t do the right thing in that meeting and now I’m starting to understand unconscious gender bias,” the helmer said. “All those labels that were flung at me in those early years, those are the same names flung at all business women and now I realize I’m not alone. It’s empowering to know that there is this gender bias and it’s not my fault.”

The seven filmmakers and projects to participate in this year’s Through Her Lens program have already been selected, with Numa Perrier, Roja Gashtili, Julia Lerman, Vera Miao, Anna Martemucci, Christina Voros and Kat Coiro all set for the inaugural edition, running Oct. 26-28.

Tribeca’s Jane Rosenthal, second from left, poses with Kat Coiro, Anna Martemucci, Roja Gashtili, Julia Lerman, Christina Voros, Vera Miao and Numa Perrier at Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program luncheon
Stefanie Keenan/WireImage Courtesy of Tribeca Enterprises

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