“We pay men the same as we pay women!” exclaimed Tribeca’s executive chair Jane Rosenthal, garnering laughter from a room full of female filmmakers on Monday at the fifth annual Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program luncheon.
Glenn Close, Katie Holmes and Marisa Tomei were among the stars who gather for the ultimate “ladies who lunch” moment — a glitzy afternoon soiree for a good cause.
Tribeca’s Through Her Lens program teams with Pulse Films to select five pairs of female filmmakers to participate in a three-day immersive program where they work with master class advisors and mentors, including director Leslie Linka Glatter and Catherine Keener, who were at Monday’s Chanel lunch, held at Locanda Verde in downtown Manhattan.
Keener was present, fresh off of her arrest in D.C., where she was cuffed alongside Jane Fonda for staging a protest in support of the climate crisis at the Capitol.
Paula Weinstein, Tribeca’s executive vice president, was also arrested with Fonda, and during her opening remarks, called out her “fellow arrestee” Keener.
Weinstein and Rosenthal proudly told the room that Tribeca Enterprises is comprised mostly of female leadership. Rattling off staggering statistics of the disparity of female directors to male, Rosenthal said, “By no means are these normal times. We can scratch our heads and ask, how did we get here? But the more productive question is, what do we do about it?”
Before wine was poured and steak with roasted carrots was served, Weinstein spoke to Variety. “The diversity of the women, where they come from and the kinds of stories they want to tell — that’s the point of this program, is to nurture those diverse voices so that the narrative can change,” she said. “When the point-of-view of the narrator changes, that’s when we see the narrative change. It’s happening, but very slowly. The numbers are not good.”
Keke Palmer, who stars in one of the year’s buzziest films directed by a woman, “Hustlers,” also chatted with Variety about the progress her generation of women is making by ushering in diverse creative talent. “Each year, we get better. You get better, but then you fall back, and then you go forward. It’s always a push-and-pull,” Palmer said. “We’re now getting to the point where we realize we need people of diversity behind the camera, just as much as in front, so that when we see the people in front of the camera that are diverse, we’re getting real perceptions and ideas of who they are.”
Palmer was joined by many of her fellow young Hollywood forces at the luncheon, including “Booksmart’s” Kaitlyn Dever and “Mickey and the Bear” writer/director Annabelle Attanasio. Other guests included Zazie Beetz, Emily Mortimer, Zosia Mamet, Grace Gummer, Jemima Kirke, Dianna Agron, Amber Tamblyn, plus program participants Dede Gardner and director Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Rosenthal says she’s most proud that the program has created a community of women mentoring other women, and in order for real change to occur, companies in the biz need to start training more women. “Experience isn’t going to happen overnight. We continue to need training and mentorship,” Rosenthal said to Variety. “We have strong women leaders like Cindy Holland at Netflix and Donna Langley at Universal — but we need more.”