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Gwyneth Paltrow on More Opportunities for Women Directors: ‘Those Doors Are Open to Us Now’

Gwyneth Paltrow has won an Oscar for her lead role in “Shakespeare in Love,” created an online juggernaut in her lifestyle website Goop, and now she’s ascended up an Idaho mountain to accept the Sun Valley Film Festival Vision Award.

“I’ve never taken a gondola to accept an award before,” joked Paltrow, standing amidst a crowd of friends, industry insiders and SVFF director Candice Pate, who presented Paltrow with the honor during a celebratory dinner Saturday held at the Roundhouse, an historic après-ski restaurant perched midway up Ketchum’s Bald Mountain.

“I have to be in the office every day and I anticipate it being that way for a while,” said Paltrow of balancing the dichotomous aspects of her wildly successful two-pronged career — that of actress and business mogul. “I don’t do a lot of acting right now, so when I do I look for what’s going to have the best ROI in terms of time and impact.  It’s fun to do something like ‘The Avengers.’ I get to go to Atlanta for two days, see my friends, do a scene with Robert [Downey Jr.], come home. I just agreed to do my fiance’s [Brad Falchuk] new TV show (“Politician”) and it’ll be two days per episode. I can’t do more than that. So, it’s like a puzzle to try to put it together. I look for things that will be fun and or I’ll learn something.”


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With this year’s fest having a decidedly female empowerment feel — Kate Bosworth was this year’s recipient of the fest’s Pioneer Award; “Outside In” writer-director Lynn Shelton was the co-recipient of its High Scribe Award, along with Duplass — Paltrow shared her own perspective on making it as a actress in Hollywood.

“I think the way to become really good at something is to be sort of myopic about it,” said Paltrow. “And if you have one big passion, my recommendation would be to put everything behind that and do the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours and get really, really good at it. And if then you decide to evolve into something else, well thank God as women we are now living in a time where we have license to do that, to try our hand at directing — those doors are open to us now.”

Paltrow, who also took part in one of the fest’s signature Coffee Talks, spoke candidly about the struggles experienced as a full-time working mom with responsibilities and commitments oft stretching her in various different directions.

“My first pointer for being a working mom is — and not that I follow this all the time, but I strive to — to be proud of your work. I want to set an example of someone that is proud of what she is doing so that the time spent away from our children is emboldening us and building us up as women. I want to make sure that we’re bringing home something as mothers to our kids. And on the practical side, I really try to limit my time on the phone and on the laptop after work — to just put things away. I try to do one thing at a time and that’s sort of my philosophy. I don’t always achieve it, but I try.”

SVFF executive director Teddy Grennan, SVFF Screenwriters Lab creator Emily Granville and actors, filmmakers and musicians such as Oliver Stone; Andrew Bird; Dree Hemingway; Jay Duplass (who hosted the Screenwriters Lab); and Academy Award-nominated producers Kevin Walsh (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Jim Burke (“The Descendants”) were also on hand for the festive high-altitude fete, considered a highlight of the five-day fest.

Other notables of this year’s fest included Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was honored with SVFF’s Rising Star Award for his breakthrough roles in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” and the Oscar-nominated “The Greatest Showman,” and writer-director Michael Polish, who screened his film “Nona,” which Bosworth executive produced.


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