Supporting female filmmakers in a male dominated industry

In a time when men in power are finally being held responsible for their abusive behavior, it’s more important than ever to launch female filmmakers into leadership roles in the industry. As a gay man, I sometimes feel stuck in the middle of how to support women and yet not step on any toes as I’m still a socialized man. However, as far as I’m aware it seems logical to help women tell their stories and support them in their production processes through professional and financial assistance. At the current moment, I’ve been channeling this energy into supporting a fellow filmmaker, friend, and Chapman colleague, Melanie Alexander, and her new short film called Full Moon.

I’ll never forget the time when a female colleague of mine was harassed by a male superior right in front of my face while she was forced to smile and laugh it off in order to avoid complications. It made my blood boil, but I also understood the nuances of the encounter. It seemed there was no way to fix it so I was left with a sense of hatred for the perpetrator that plagued me for the rest of my time at the company. I began to understand how harassing behavior can extend beyond the incident itself and create highly uncomfortable work environments.

Luckily, I’ve had very positive experiences on set with my Chapman colleagues. I can’t recall a situation where I’ve had to manage inappropriate interactions on set. I’m sure this is because I’ve worked predominantly with female ADs and directors who understand the importance of creating a safe environment for the cast and crew. I’m extremely passionate about creating safe spaces on set so the ingenuity of the cast and crew can flourish and reach new heights of creativity.

Producing the short film Full Moon with two female co-directors has been a rewarding way for me to get involved with female filmmakers. The short film is about a girls’ night séance gone wrong involving magic, witches, and wine. There is an emphasis on creating real relationships among women even in the suspense genre. Upon the success of this production, I hope to continue to invest my time and energy in diverse stories including those of women, the LGBT community, and beyond.

Our production team launched a Seed & Spark fundraiser on October 30 and have until November 29 to reach our goal. We’re really close, but need a little help in these last few days in order to make our green light! Please follow our campaign here and consider pledging to receive exciting gifts including astrology lessons, psychic readings, and premiere tickets.

Interested in learning more about this project? Contact me, Danny Pugh at

full moon