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According to the New York Women in Film and Television organization, women make up only 20% of all cinematographers, writers, producers, executive producers, directors, and editors in the top 100 grossing films in 2019 that were made in the US. This statistic is extremely low but was still a major increase from 16% in 2018.

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  • Born on January 3rd in 1905

  • As a child, she would constantly hang around movie sets begging the crew to let her play a role

    • Film crews began referring to her as the “curious Chinese child”

  • Considered to be the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star

    • She worked in silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio

  • Challenges with Racism

    • Despite the recognition she had, she was kept as a supporting actress

    • Throughout her career, she wanted to play roles of modern American women but was constantly denied

    • “I was so tired of the parts I had to play. Why is it that the screen Chinese is always the villain? And so crude a villain--murderous, treacherous, a snake in the grass." 

    • Progress for Asian American Women

      • Crazy Rich Asians

      • Staring female Asian American actress whose family is from Taiwan

      • Predominantly Asian cast


  • Born in Brussels in 1950 to two Holocaust survivors from Poland

  • Referred to as a “pioneer in feminist and experimental filmmaking” in the New York Times by Rachel Donadio and Cara Buckley

  • Her Work

    • “Saute Ma Ville”

      • Her first film that translates into English as “Blow Up My City”

      • The film shows a woman, herself, dancing around a kitchen with a voiceover of singing

      • Then, the woman leans her head over the gaslight burners and the screen goes black

      • Ackerman tells this story of a housewife committing suicide as a way of fighting against gender norms in society

    • “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” (1975)

      • The film follows a widowed housewife who does daily stereotypical housewife chores and then is paid for sex with a man


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  • Created the design for the Creature in the Creature from the Black Lagoon movie

  • Her credit was stolen from her by Bud Westmore, leading to years of people giving him credit

    • He did this by firing her and stealing her designs

    • He refused to ever hire her for any other upcoming projects and removed her from her other current projects

    • She was never again given the opportunity to design another monster


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  • The first woman to join the Directors Guild of America

  • Throughout her career, she was the only female director in Hollywood

  • Made a total of twenty films between 1927 and 1943

  • She is also credited with inventing the boom microphone

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