Penelope Cruz, Kirsten Dunst, Julianna Marguilies,
Gena Rowlands, Lily Tomlin and Lili Taylor
HOLLYWOOD, CA, January 6, 2003 – On Monday, May 19 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, AMC presents WOMEN ON TOP: HOLLYWOOD AND POWER, a personal exploration of the strides women have made in shattering Hollywood's glass ceiling.
From directing films to editing, to production design to screenwriting, women are tearing down the gender-gap walls of entertainment and breaking through to unique areas of the Hollywood landscape. This one-hour original production features nine actresses who honor their favorite industry muse. Through candid conversations and interviews, these personalities illustrate how women continue to reach new heights as producers, directors, cinematographers and editors.
Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst talk about working with producer Laura Ziskin (SPIDERMAN); Halle Berry comments on the career of Lauren Schuler Donner (X-MEN); Penelope Cruz speaks about Paula Wagner (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, VANILLA SKY); Julianna Marguiles reflects on director Mimi Leder (PEACEMAKER, DEEP IMPACT; Gena Rowlands discusses her collaboration with writer/director Mira Nair (SALAAM BOMBAY, MONSOON WEDDING); Sandra Bullock talks about her work with Callie Khouri (DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA
SISTERHOOD); Lili Taylor talks about cinematographer Ellen Kuras (ANALYZE THAT) and Lily Tomlin explains her work with editor Sally Men (PULP FICTION).
This is not the first time women have made their mark in Hollywood. In the early days of film, women such as Dorothy Arzner, Frances Marion and Lois Weber, were powerful directors, writers and producers. When the studio system took shape, women and power parted ways, and women were only starlets in front of the camera. In the 1970s, women forced their way up the ladder, and immersed themselves in Hollywood. Thirty years later, three women now head the major film studios: Sherry Lansing at Paramount; Amy Pascal at Sony and Stacy Snider at Universal.
In 2002, Laura Ziskin was the first woman to produce the Academy Awards®. Two months later, SPIDERMAN opened to critical acclaim and became a box-office success. Kirsten Dunst recalls how Ziskin and Toby Maguire flew to Germany three weeks prior to the film's start date to persuade Dunst to play the role of Mary Jane opposite Maguire.
LAUREN SCHULER DONNER
Lauren Schuler Donner was the first woman to be admitted to the Hollywood Electronic Cameras Operators Union. She remembers a male Hollywood executive telling her that the only way she could break into the industry was through shorthand or a see-through blouse. Her producing credits include X-MEN, YOU'VE GOT MAIL, ST. ELMO'S FIRE and MR. MOM.
Paula Wagner made her mark in Hollywood as a star agent for CAA, by nurturing the careers of Demi Moore, Aidan Quinn, Val Kilmer, Tom Cruise and Oliver Stone, before becoming a producer. Wagner formed CW Productions with client Tom Cruise and together they have
produced a string of hits including MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, JERRY MAGUIRE and VANILLA SKY.
Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair began her career as an actor, before turning to directing documentaries and independent films. Her first feature film SALAAM BOMBAY! received a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards® in 1989. MONSOON WEDDING was shot in 30 days on money Nair raised herself. In 2001, Hollywood gave her a chance to direct an all-star cast in the HBO film, HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS with Uma Therman and Gena Rowlands.
Mimi Leder was the first woman to graduate from the cinematography program at the American Film Institute. After years in television drama (ER), Leder directed Dreamworks' first production, THE PEACEMAKER with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman.
Screenwriter/Director Callie Khouri began in Hollywood by producing music videos, but she wrote screenplays on the side. Her first work, THELMA AND LOUISE, won an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. She made her directorial debut with the literary adaptation of SECRETS OF THE YA YA SISTERHOOD in 2002.
Sally Menke most recently served as editor on Billy Bob Thorton's upcoming DADDY AND THEM. Among her credits are Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS, JACKIE BROWN and PULP FICTION, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award®.
Veteran cinematographer Ellen Kuras has filmed independent fare such as BAMBOOZLED and SUMMER OF SAM, as well as studio fare like BLOW, THE MOD SQUAD and ANALYZE THAT.
WOMEN ON TOP: HOLLYWOOD AND POWER is executive produced by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of World of Wonder Productions. Roberta Grossman is the Producer/Writer. Jessica Falcon is the Executive Producer for AMC.
AMC is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 84,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and an increasingly visible, critically-acclaimed, slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. AMC has more than doubled its original programming over the past 3 years and garnered many of the industry's highest honors, including seven Emmy awards. AMC is "TV for movie people."
A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC). Rainbow owns and manages AMC, WE: WOMEN'S ENTERTAINMENT, IFC (The Independent Film Channel), muchmusic
usa, Mag Rack, Rainbow Sports Networks, News 12 Networks, and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation
and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in Fox Sports Net and has a strategic partnership with MGM (NYSE:MGM), which owns a 20% stake in three of Rainbow's national networks: AMC, WE: Women's Entertainment, and IFC.