×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Twilight’ Director Catherine Hardwicke on Hollywood Gender Parity: ‘There’s Still A Lot of Work to Do’

Catherine Hardwicke became a trailblazer for female directors after leading “Twilight” to global success; however, ten years after the first film came out, she says there’s still not enough women working behind the camera.

“There’s still a lot of work to do because we’ve got to get to both sides of the camera; we’ve got to get more representation in all the categories,” Hardwicke Told Variety at the 45th Student Academy Awards ceremony held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. “We’ve got a lot to say, and we’ve had a long time where we haven’t gotten to have our voices back there.”

Hardwicke, along with Patricia Riggen, Kumail Nanjiani and Arthur Dong, presented awards at Thursday’s Student Academy Award ceremony, which highlighted some of the best student films from around the world in animation, alternative filming, documentary filming and narrative filming. Out of the more than 1,500 submitted entries, the Academy selected 15 to be honored during the show, assigning a bronze, silver and gold medal winner in almost every category.

“The 33” director Riggen said she was excited to present at the Student Academy Awards after launching her own career at the show years before. During her time at Colombia University, Riggen’s student film was selected as one of the finalists for the awards ceremony, providing her with the springboard she needed to dive headfirst into the film industry.

However, Riggen said getting started as a female filmmaker in Hollywood was quite different from working on films in college.

“When you are in a non-financial situation, you’re competing without a gender,” she said. “When there’s money involved, that’s when things change and that’s when we as female directors get pushed aside.”

Patricia Riggen and Dawn Allen45th Student Academy Awards Ceremony, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Oct 2018
CREDIT: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Riggen said male directors often get more opportunities to work on bigger projects due to the unconscious bias that exists in the entertainment industry. Even in places like television, where she said the effects of movements like #MeToo are starting to take effect, Male backlash toward women can make working in entertainment difficult.

“They literally attack you because of that; they will try to criticize us and make us feel that we are being hired because we are women – I’m the quota,” she said. “But it doesn’t matter as long as female directors are given the opportunities that have been denied for decades.”

Nanjiani also joined Riggen as a presenter at the show, although he said he spent his time in school studying chemistry and not film. Before heading into the theater to announce the winners for animation, “The Big Sick” star teased a small detail about the upcoming film he’s working on with his wife and co-writer Emily V. Gordon.

“It’s not autobiographical in the way that ‘The Big Sick’ was,” Nanjiani said. “In some ways it’s just as personal, but it’s not based on our lives; it’s a very different genre.”

See the full list of winners from the Student Academy Awards below:

Alternative (Domestic Film Schools)
Gold: Shae Demandt, “Reanimated,” Florida State University

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)
Gold: Hanna Kim, “Raccoon and the Light,” California Institute of the Arts
Silver: Yu Yu, “Daisy,” University of Southern California
Bronze: Eaza Shukla, “Re-Gifted,” Ringling College of Art and Design

Animation (International Film Schools)
Gold: Pierre Perveyrie, Maximilien Bougeois, Marine Goalard, Irina Nguyen-Duc and Quentin Dubois, “The Green Bird,” MOPA

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)
Gold: Mathieu Faure, “An Edited Life,” New York University
Silver: Yiying Li, “Love & Loss,” University of Southern California
Bronze: Lauren Schwartzman, “Dust Rising,” University of California, Berkeley

Documentary (International Film Schools)
Gold: Mart Bira, “Nomadic Doctor,” University of Hertfordshire

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)
Gold: Hua Tong, “Spring Flower,” University of Southern California
Silver: Kelley Kali, “Lalo’s House,” University of Southern California
Bronze: Brian Robau, “Esta Es Tu Cuba”/“This Is Your Cuba,” Chapman University

Narrative (International Film Schools)
Gold: Jonatan Etzler, “Get Ready with Me,” Stockholm Academy of the Arts
Silver: Lisa Gertsch, “Almost Everything,” Zurich University of the Arts
Bronze: István Kovács, “A Siege,” University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

  • Maelle Arnaud

    Lumière Chief Programmer Maelle Arnaud: 'Film History Doesn't Have Parity'

    LYON, France   — As the Lumière Institute’s head programmer since 2001, Maelle Arnaud helped launched the Lumière Festival in 2009 and has watched it grow in international esteem over the decade that followed. This year, the festival ran 190 films across 424 screenings in theaters all over town. The festival will come to a [...]

  • Girl with Green Eyes

    Talking Pictures TV: Bringing the Past Back to Life in the U.K.

    LYON, France – Since its launch in 2015, Talking Pictures TV has become the fastest-growing independent channel in the U.K. with a growing library of British film and TV titles that span five decades, according to founder Noel Cronin. Noel Cronin attended the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, where he [...]

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content