Chapman’s 14th Annual WOMEN IN FOCUS Conference will Feature Diablo Cody, Maya Rudolph, Nancy Meyers, Donna Langley, Penelope Spheeris and Anne Fletcher!

Orange, CA (March 22, 2013) – Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, recognized as one of the premier film schools in the United States, proudly presents the 14th Annual Women in Focus Conference on Friday, April 12, 2013, where top female directors, producers, writers, executives and actors will participate in a discussion focused on the topic of comedy.

Continuing to attract some of the most notable females working in the entertainment industry today, this year’s participants include such highly accomplished individuals as Oscar® winning writer Diablo Cody (Paradise, Young Adult, United States of Tara, Juno), director/choreographer Anne Fletcher (The Guilt Trip, The Proposal, 27 Dresses, Step Up), Universal Pictures Co-Chairman Donna Langley (Identity Thief, Ted, Pitch Perfect, This is 40, Bridesmaids), Academy Award® nominated director/screenwriter Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, What Women Want, The Parent Trap), actress Maya Rudolph (The Way, Way Back, Up All Night, Bridesmaids, Saturday Night Live), and director Penelope Spheeris (Black Sheep, The Little Rascals, The Beverly Hillbillies, Wayne’s World, The Decline of Western Civilization documentary series).

The esteemed panel will be moderated by Dawn Taubin, Professor of Public Relations and Advertising at Dodge College and former Head of Marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures.

Open to the public, Chapman’s Women in Focus event has succeeded in building a meaningful dialogue among emerging and established women in the film industry over its 14 year existence. The upcoming event will feature an afternoon of activities including panel discussions with some of the most prominent women in the business, as well as a scholarship presentation, luncheon and networking mixer.

The conference commences at 1:30 p.m., when participants will screen clips from their work, and discuss their experiences breaking into the industry, building the relationships necessary for success, and obstacles they have faced and overcome throughout their careers. The event concludes with a formal mixer beginning at 4:30 p.m.

“The caliber of the women participating in this conference each year is simply astonishing. For students to have the opportunity to experience their interactions with each other as they share and compare insights firsthand is an unmatched learning opportunity,” says Dean Bob Bassett. “We are always grateful that women with such incredible experience are willing to give back to the next generation in this very personal way.”

The 2013 Women in Focus Conference is sponsored by Twyla Martin, Laurie Rodnick, Eve Kornyei Ruffatto, Harriet Sandhu, Adrienne Brandes, and Diana Martin.

Past Women in Focus conference panelists include producer and former Walt Disney Motion Picture Group President Nina Jacobson, Dreamworks Studios Co-Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider, writer/producer Leslie Dixon, Academy Award® nominated director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, acclaimed producer Debra Martin Chase, writer/director Shana Feste, producer Susan Cartsonis, director Mary Lambert, Academy Award® winning producer and President of Mandalay Pictures Cathy Schulman, Fox Searchlight Pictures President Nancy Utley, and producer and Los Angeles Film Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham, to name a few.

2013 Women in Focus Event Location:

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.

For more information and to RSVP, please visit

About Chapman University:

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University attracts highly qualified students from around the globe. Its programs are designed to encourage leadership in innovation, creativity and collaboration, and are increasingly recognized for providing an extraordinary educational experience. The university now excels in film and media arts, performing arts, educational studies, economics and business, law, humanities and the sciences. Student enrollment in graduate and undergraduate programs is approaching 7,000, and Chapman University alumni are found throughout California and the world.

Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts:

One of the premier film schools in the country, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers students the unique opportunity to learn filmmaking in a hands-on environment modeled on a working studio.  The college is comprised of the Sodaro-Pankey Undergraduate School of Film and Media Arts, offering degrees in film production, film studies, screenwriting, creative producingtelevision and broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising, screen acting and digital arts; and the graduate Conservatory of Motion Pictures, offering M.F.A. degrees in film production, film and television producing, production design, and screenwriting, and an M.A. in film studies. Two joint M.F.A. degrees in producing are also offered in conjunction with the business (M.F.A./M.B.A.) and law (M.F.A./J.D.) schools. Dodge College is housed in Marion Knott Studios, a state-of-the-art, 76,000-square-foot studio and classroom building that provides students with 24-hour access to sound stages, edit bays, Dolby surround mixing, a motion capture stage and more.  With an Oscar and Emmy-award winning full-time faculty that boasts more feature film credits than any other film school, Dodge College is where students learn the entertainment business from the inside out.