The Ninth Annual Conference to Feature Six Distinguished Women Directors
Sharing their Experiences in Hollywood

The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University proudly presents the Ninth Annual Women in Focus Conference on Friday, April 17, 2009, in the Paul and Daranne Folino Theater in Marion Knott Studios at the University. The panel is designed to encourage dialogue between emerging and established women in the film industry. This year’s conference, The Director’s Vision, features an afternoon of activities including panel discussions with women who play leading roles in today’s industry as well as a scholarship presentation and networking mixer. This conference is open to the public.

“Building a career as a director is incredibly difficult for anyone. It’s even more difficult for women, as the small number of active women directors illustrates. Thus we think that it is a real opportunity for film students—both men and women—to hear from these talented women who have overcome major obstacles to succeed as directors. Their experiences will provide the kinds of insights you can’t find in a book,” says Dean Bob Bassett.

Top female directors who have helmed some of the most note-worthy films and television productions of recent years will share their directing experiences with the aspiring filmmakers. This year’s panel features Martha Coolidge (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Out to Sea, Angie, Lost in Yonkers, Valley Girl), award-winning director Catherine Hardwicke (Twighlight, The Nativity Story, Lords of Dogtown, Thirteen), triple AFI winner Jocelyn Moorhouse (A Thousand Acres, How to Make an American Quilt, Proof, Pavane), director and writer Kimberly Peirce (Stop-Loss, “The L Word”, Boys Don’t Cry, The Good Last Breath), director and producer Penelope Spheeris (The Little Rascals, The Beverly Hillbillies, Wayne’s World).

Dodge professor and conference organizer, Alex Rose comments "The directors for this year’s conference are stellar players in their fields. These women in film inspire both students and community members alike as they enlighten us with details of their professional experiences, insights, career tips, and behind-the-scenes revelations. This conference provides attendees a unique and rare opportunity to be privy to interactive conversations among outstanding film professionals that will never appear in articles or books."

The conference commences with the first panel session, “Career Paths” (1:30 – 2:45 p.m.), where the directors screen clips from their films and discuss what it takes to break into the industry, building the necessary relationships to be successful, as well as the obstacles they have faced throughout their careers. During the second session, “Directing the Vision” (3:00 – 4:15 p.m.), the panelists examine the cinematic challenges of directing. An informal mixer concludes the conference at 4:30 p.m.

Please note event location:
The Paul and Daranne Folino Theater in Marion Knott Studios is located at 283 N. Cypress in Orange, Calif. The conference is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat, call (714) 997-6515.

Women in Focus is sponsored by Orange County philanthropists Twyla Reed Martin, Eve Konyei and Bonny Schumacher.


Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, home to 1,100 students, is comprised of the Sodaro-Pankey Undergraduate School of Media, offering undergraduate degrees in film production, screenwriting, public relations and advertising, film studies, digital arts, and television and broadcast journalism; the Conservatory of Motion Pictures, offering graduate degrees in film production, film and television producing, screenwriting, production design and film studies. Marion Knott Studios, the $42-million, 76,000-square-foot home of the Dodge College, opened in fall 2006.

Press Contact: Lexi Perry
Rogers & Cowan
310 854 8198