Panel - Give Us a Break!
Throckmorton TheatreSat, Oct 10, 2015 11:00 AM Not Available
Film Info
Section:Behind the Screens
Mind the Gap
Running Time:90 min

How do you find opportunity in the film industry? Is there such a thing as a “lucky break”? These accomplished panelists will share their experiences and discuss the perennial question: How do we make and sustain viable careers in film?


Reception to follow at Tamalpie, 475 Miller Ave, Mill Valley

Sponsored by:

Co-presented by Film Fatales and Speak To Me

Additional Information


JUDY BECKER is a production designer who began her film career in New York’s fertile independent film community. Carol is her second collaboration with Todd Haynes, with whom she also designed the acclaimed Bob Dylan story I’m Not There. Becker frequently collaborates with David O. Russell. In addition to her Academy Award® nomination for American Hustle, she designed Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter. Becker has worked with many of today’s most acclaimed directors, including Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), and Steve McQueen (Shame). She has served as production designer on many other notable films, including Zach Braff's Garden State, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ Ruby Sparks, and Peter Sollett’s Raising Victor Vargas. She also designed the pilot for Lena Dunham’s Girls, for which she received an Art Directors Guild Award.

JENA MALONE is an actor, producer, and musician, who most recently starred in Angelica (MVFF 2015). In the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2, Malone reprises her role as Johanna Mason, the tribute from District 7, who appeared in all the earlier Hunger Games films. Malone can currently be seen in Time Out of Mind, starring alongside Richard Gere, and stars opposite Elle Fanning in the upcoming LA–based thriller The Neon Demon, set to be released in 2016. Earlier screen credits include Inherent Vice, Claire, Sucker Punch, Into the Wild (MVFF 2007) and Cold Mountain. Malone directed her first music video, “The Incorruptible Heart,” for the band Lavender Diamond and recently toured with her band, The Shoe. Malone built an instrument she plays called “The Shoe” which includes an old steamer trunk with a plethora of electronic instruments inside. Their first EP, "At Lem Jay's Garage," came out in 2009 under Malone’s label There Was An Old Woman Records. Their full-length album “I'm Okay” was released in Spring 2014.

STACY L. SMITH, PhD, is the director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Dr. Smith has written more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, reports, and conference papers on content patterns and effects of the media. Dr. Smith’s research has been written about in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety,,, The Boston Globe, and USA Today. She has a co-edited essay in Maria Shriver’s book, A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything (2009). The Sundance Institute has funded her work, along with Women in Film Los Angeles, Epix, The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, and The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

VALERIE WEISS is an award-winning filmmaker and Harvard biophysicist. Her first feature, Losing Control, a rom-com about a scientist who wants proof that her boyfriend is “the one,” was released theatrically after her AFI Directing Workshop for Women sci-fi short, Transgressions, won a student BAFTA Award. A Light Beneath Their Feet (MVFF 2015) is her second feature as director, writer and producer, and she also directed Dance by Design. At Harvard, Weiss founded the Dudley Film Program and served as its Filmmaker in Residence. Recently, she joined America Ferrara, Roberto Orci, and others as a judge for “The Next MacGyver” competition.

Moderator MELISSA SILVERSTEIN is a writer and speaker with extensive expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, which educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry. She is the artistic director and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival -- A Celebration of Women and Leadership at Barnard College in NYC. Silverstein was selected to be a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, the major film diplomacy program of the US Department of State. She published the first book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site. Silverstein has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, Forbes, and More Magazine and has been featured on CNN and the BBC.