The Founding of

The Directing Workshop for Women of The American Film Institute

A History

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In the early days of the movies there were quite a few women directors -- wonderful story-tellers, fine dramatists, visual artists -- but, as the Movie Industry became one of the 20th Century's most influential propaganda and power structures, male dominance enthroned itself. Then, in 1974, in the heyday of the feminist revolution when, in living memory, only Ida Lupino and Elaine May had directed major (American) feature films ...

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One day Antonio Vellani, the philosophical force behind the development of the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Film Studies, and later its Director, came into my office in the late afternoon through our communicating bathroom. It was the most beautiful bathroom (among at least a dozen) at Greystone, The American Film Institute's then palatial home on Doheny Road in Beverly Hills. Also called The Doheny Mansion, the house was built in 1929 with the ill-gotten gains of the Teapot Dome Scandal. I used to bathe in that bathroom after tennis. Later on I'll tell you about my bath following "enlightenment" on May 4, 1975, the same day I met with Lydia Bronte of the Rockefeller Foundation. During that meeting we chatted about the, then quite new, Jane Robert's Seth books and the second year funding for the DWW. For, in that second year, Lydia, who was later to work for the The MacArthur Foundation, as well as write some notable studies re creative aging, became the implacable push within the (not very feminist) Rockefeller Foundation (RF) for maintaining what, by then, had become The Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). Membership in which, it might be noted, had become the goal of women throughout the world who wanted to direct films.

Up to shoulder height the bathroom walls were tiled in shining yellow. Above that they, as well as the arched doors and niches for tub and shower, were painted yellow. Blue and red Mexican tile formed decorative borders around all the edges and finished a wide window seat. To enter it was like discovering a special chamber built for the sun. And always a joy to use. Bringing my visitors -- celebrities as well as hopefuls -- in via my secretaries' office and through the bathroom was a terrific ice-breaker. Another door from my office led directly into the hall, but I almost always kept it closed and locked so people didn't drop in casually and prevent me from my all important paper pushing. If I had those years to do over, I think I would relax more, ogle the passing parade and enjoy the gossip. But in those days, I was incapable of doing so.

Toni sat down and I pulled out the day's puzzle: a letter that had been bandied about -- you could tell by the initials on it -- until the buck passed out of AFI's Washington office at the Kennedy Center to Los Angeles, where, naturally, it ended up on my desk. It was a letter from Matilda Krim thanking George Stevens, Jr., AFI's Founder and Director, for a tour of the facilities in Washington, and stating that she would like to help the Institute, that she was particularly interested in helping women in film. You can see how natural it was that it got to me -- not sent directly, mind you, or presaged, or treated as priority in any way, but just drifting along the buck-passing currents until it got to the Token Woman who could do something about it, or not, just as she chose. She could, since it came without even a cover memo, do nothing at all, if she chose.

In just three years I had become the AFI Disposal, the West Coast Garburator. If no one else wanted to handle an unhandlable problem, a sticky wicket, a difficult "yes" or "no," it would end up on my desk. For, unknown to me at that time, I had acquired the reputation of being the most conscientious administrator at AFI. I, on the other hand, saw myself as just doing what I was asked to do. It never occurred to me to say "no," and pass it on.

This naive agreeableness was in fact how I consolidated my power, such as it was, though it was years before I was aware I had any. It was also how I acquired a whole lot of sub rosa, but not overwhelming, enemies. Because I did do my job, turned in my reports, wrote the unwrite-able letters, made the decisions others were loath to make, George called me arrogant, Richard Carlton, his Deputy Director, called me a work-a-holic, and those who didn't get their work done on time or make adequate arrangements, etc. called me worse.

Aside from meeting and greeting and the rare, really rare, occasions on which a truly innovative opportunity presents itself, almost all the work to be done at the top is what I call "secretarial housekeeping." And mostly the secretaries (women) do the work, which leaves the executives (men) free to meet and greet -- and grab the credit. However, in the 1970s due to immense pressure from the gentler sex, they were hiring Token Women for the upper echelons. Because men are too fastidious to do this or that, we women gain seas of experience in all sorts of things that wash us with grace when the going gets rough. We, in other words, have a finger in every pie and though, in those days we seldom got the credit, we did know on whose thumb the plum was stuck.

However, even then, I did get the credit, because I had a title. My first was Admissions and Awards Administrator. It had cost Toni and me a few days to think it up -- certain elite words were verboten -- but it put me on a titular, if not a financially equal, plane with the men. (George didn't give titles out easily.) Later, during the next regime, I acquired the grander title of Director, National Production Programs, and a salary and expense account triple what I had started with, but still not munificent. I came from the creative side of the arts: theatre, filmmaking, painting and writing which left me feeling I needed some "administrative tutoring." (Ever notice how most artists are better paid to do everything but their art?)

"What should I do?" I asked Toni about the letter.

"Call her up."

"What'll I say?"

"Tell her you have a project in mind."

"What project?"

"You'll figure it out."

"Why don't you call?"

"You're the one who wants to do something for women."

Which was true. For though slowly, bit by slow bit, women were building themselves a niche in films: documentary films, animated films, experimental films of all kinds, even short narrative films, still no one -- not one that I knew of in America -- was about to direct and/or release a major feature film in/through mainstream Hollywood. The doors were simply closed. Women couldn't do it -- in America. There was, however, Agnes Varda in France, Mai Zetterling in Sweden, maybe a couple of others.

Some of our grantees were pushing hard at those doors, and every once in a while there was a long film made by a women that got a true theatrical release, but nothing like the releases both the big and little boys got. None of us ever quite figured out why. Women had done it before and we all knew they would do it again -- sometime! somehow! Though I passionately wanted to change the way things were, I had no idea I would be involved when the paradigm shifted. I, like every other potential woman director, just wanted to direct the half-dozen films I carried around in my head, that haunted my heart. But from where I sat at that time, I knew, almost better than anyone, how difficult it was even for men to break into the big time -- and impossible for women.

I had already worked enormously hard (about fourteen hours a day every day for three years) with the grant program, The Independent Filmmaker Program (the IFP) and the Academy Internship Program (the AIP) to make sure that they helped their fair share of women. Indeed, that's how I had come to AFI, I was their first Woman Intern -- assigned to Hal Ashby's HAROLD AND MAUDE in 1971. And I had been hired as AFI's Token Woman shortly after that -- a position in which, if not greatly listened to, I was at least invited to attend the meetings. Ah, yes, meetings! -- without pencil and paper like the big boys come: empty-handed, ready to shake and be affable. I knew what was going on.

More women got grants and internships because I made sure more women sat on each of the production programs' Review Boards. I also made sure that more women were considered for places at the Center For Advanced Film Studies. I had also taken on these same tasks regarding the minorities (How I hate that word! -- for they, like women, are the majorities in this world.) Needless to say, having been wafted into AFI in the wake of the Women's March on the Institute -- led by Jane Fonda, et al -- I had deep and intense feelings about Helping Women!

I dialed Matilda Krim.

She, Toni told me (he had to tell me a lot of things in those days because I really have no head for Who's Who), Dr. Matilda Krim, was the wife of Arthur Krim, the aging Board Chairman of United Artists, she was also on the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, etc.

I got right through. She had a lovely accent, the voice of an eighty-two-year-old-great-lady. Thus began conversations and an exchange of letters that culminated in my writing a treatment for a series of films to be directed by women and screened on PBS -- and an invitation to meet with MK at her home over cocktails when I was next in New York.

"Go," said Toni. "Don't wait for your next trip. Ask her what day is convenient."

Either the plane was late or something happened at the Lombardy Hotel's switchboard because I didn't get an important message from MK that we were to meet an hour earlier. Eleanor Perry, who I had also invited to meet with MK on AFI's behalf, had to leave early, and MK had graciously advanced the time. So when I arrived on time I was late.

The Krim's house is an elegant town-house on the east side, right where you would expect it to be. The butler opens the door, takes my coat. The next thing I see is this beautiful, blond woman, about my age, coming down the stairway. She holds out her hand, smiling. She wears a lovely, unadorned skirt and blouse and sensible shoes. I'm wearing my plain black cashmere dress, long sleeves, also unadorned, and heels -- which slip off as soon as I sit down. I think I spent too many past lives in India, my shoes just automatically come off when I step inside.

We join Eleanor and Michael Novak from the Rockefeller Foundation for chat over the last of the hors d'oeuvres. I'm doubly nervous because it's awkward to be late. They have to capsulize the previous hour's conversation because Eleanor is just leaving. I feel I'm not tracking fast enough to take it in. Then Eleanor, who I knew fairly well at the time, and who was always kind to me -- so I tended to relax a little in her presence -- exits. She became famous with her at-that-time-husband, Frank Perry, for writing DAVID AND LISA after she had put in a hundred years fighting her way to the top as one of the few successful "non-actress" women in Hollywood and had many a witty, bittersweet tale to tell.

All too soon, I am left alone with Matilda and Michael. I don't know what to do. I haven't a clue in hell how to "negotiate" or even sound sensible. Matilda invites me to dinner. We go in the huge, black, chauffeured car to X______ which is not too far away. She asks the chauffeur to come back at x____ time. So I know there's a limit to my ordeal. I have no witty small talk, I know none of the people they know, and I have nothing but very gauche, intense things to say about our idea for a women's program. In a word I'm not comfortable.

Slowly it seeps through that what they were talking about in the hour I missed is that our idea is completely no-go. Not because Matilda doesn't like it, but because we're asking for two or three hundred thousand, which will take a full proposal and a fairly long reviewing period to get through the Rockefeller Foundation labyrinth. "Whereas," Matilda says, "if we can figure out what to do with $30,000 we can get it right away" -- a discretionary grant, I think it was called. My humble part is to figure out what to do with the thirty thousand. Once I understand that I become almost mute trying to memorize this incomparably important fact.

That gets us to the soup. Then I try talking to Michael because, I understand, he has written a book or two on nihilism, nothingness, the utter blankness of being, a subject of extraordinary appeal to me. But his conversation is too oblique for me to handle. I enjoy reading him much more than I enjoyed meeting him. And although he and MK are more than gracious, I am in an ecstasy of relief when we leave all that stained glass, tall crystal and excessive cutlery.

I believe they sent me home alone with the chauffeur and they walked. God knows what I ate that night, if anything. I think it was the year of the cookies in my diet. Back at the Lombardy I probably scoffed off a package or two. You see, when the Gods want to smile on you, they just do, whether you're any good at the role they've chosen you for or not. You could be a kangaroo asking to fly to the sun, and if the right dice come up, the rocket is given you for nothing.

When I got back to L.A. from my ordeal by grace, it was my duty to sit down with Toni and figure out what to do with the $30,000 which we were assured of getting "right away."

(En passant, please note that Toni seldom went on these "creative" adventures. He sent me, and almost invariably alone. In those days, he was even more shy than I was, but I didn't know that until later, when we both out-grew our shyness in the process of working so hard we didn't have time to be shy any more. He was brilliant at figuring out what to do, and even more brilliant at convincing me that only I could do it. He was my mentor, my Svengali and I was his Trilby -- I acted in a state of mild hypnosis and ultimate belief that I had no choice but to obey the necessities of the Institute.)

I don't remember the time schedule exactly, but this must have been around the first of 1974. Had I quit smoking yet? I don't recall. It was in the spring of that year I gave up smoking after twenty-six years; partly out of three years' fury at Toni for always bumming cigarettes from me; partly because I was going to AA meetings with my alcoholic friend,James, and wanted to "work my program" even though alcohol had never interested me. I think I was no longer smoking even at the initial, teeth-rattlingly-awkward encounter with Matilda Krim.

Anyway, so we were to get this $30,000. What should we do? For women.

By this time -- I thought all this took years, but upon checking my diaries I find the time was incredibly short between each major move Toni and I took to refine, create and recreate the four major programs of The American Film Institute-West -- Toni had already originated the Directing Workshop (DW) for the Center for Advanced Film Studies (CAFS) students. It started as a directing/acting class in the room adjoining Greystone's concealed bar (the Doheny's had enjoyed all the prohibition pleasures) and bowling alley which was near Toni's office, at the end of our corridor, down the circular tower staircase. The DW and DWW meetings were held there until the bowling alley was declared off limits by the fire department unless we wanted to blast a $25,000 emergency exit through its thick (and sacred) grey stone walls. After that, the DW and the DWW meetings were both held in the main Seminar Room (formerly the dining room) posh, paneled and mirrored.

Actors for the DW (and subsequently the DWW) projects came from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). This, a coup, had been arranged by Kathleen Nolan who had recently been elected First Vice President of SAG -- the Kathleen Nolan who was soon to become the Screen Actors Guild's first woman President, and to initiate sympatico alliances among actors around the globe, as well as negotiate the first arts platform (maybe the only arts platform) ever incorporated into a major party ticket in a U.S. presidential election.

There was new technology just blooming on the horizon. Or, let's say, some refinements of new technology, for already down at the John Tracy Clinic I had shot thirty films for the Department of Health Education and Welfare on video tape and transferred them to film for editing and completion. It was now (in the 1970s) possible to shoot video and, via computer (not nearly as sophisticated as those in use today), to edit the video after the fact, thus enabling a director to simulate traditional film technique by shooting out of sequence. For the first time in the history of filmmaking, students could direct short "films" so cheaply (the student's had $300 budgets) that they could make one, and then another and another. At AFI's CAFS they made three a year. The increase in learning was meteoric; the mysteries of "talent" began to drop some of its seven veils.

The "Catch 22" of the film world had always been: how can you learn to direct films when it is so expensive to make films that you can't practice making them before you make the big one? Few studios or individuals dared to risk the money. Prior to Toni's invention of the Directing Workshop, students at AFI made one film in their second (senior) year, an all-or-nothing gamble on the basis of having, usually, written a bit, talked a lot and done a little 16mm exercise in their first year.

At all film schools students heard lots of theory, but got almost no experience. And, since the teachers couldn't afford to let them fail, they came on the students' sets and showed them how to do it. At least they did at every other film school. But with the advent of the Directing Workshop at AFI, the faculty stayed off the sets. The students' films became the students' untampered-with talent. They could learn from their own mistakes, not lament: "I didn't want to do it that way, but my advisor insisted."

The DW, especially after the DWW made it deservedly more famous, was soon copied by all other film schools in the U.S. and abroad. But I don't know how many adopted our "stay off the sets" policy along with it, which, of course, is the essence of bringing forth talent, or, if you will, the ultimate demonstration of no talent. An amazing number of film teachers have an amazing amount of vanity tied up in the success of their students. But when the student parts with his mentor...

"Why don't we," Toni suggested, "offer the Directing Workshop to women -- Industry Women." And since we expected to get the grant by the beginning of summer, he added: "The women can use the students' equipment while the students are on vacation, so we can offer them slightly larger budgets if we take in maybe a dozen."

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I wrote up the idea and it was accepted.

But the money didn't come through fast enough to make it a summer program. So with applications pouring in from amazing women -- I'll get to that in a moment -- we further refined the idea by planning for the women to use not only the students' equipment, but the students themselves as producers, cinematographers, crews, and Eureka! we had it! It was the perfect "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" situation. The students were thrilled to work with the Industry women. The women were uninhibited with the students and loved their devotion and their talent. Quite a number of careers, in addition to those of the women, got started by contacts and working relationships developed in the DWW. The most notable of these networking by-products was probably the launching of David Lynch's career. Stuart Kornfeld, David's producer on his first feature, ERASER HEAD (began when he was a student at AFI), acted as Anne Bancroft's producer for her first DWW project, and brought David to her attention. From this grew the opportunity for David to do his second feature, ELEPHANT MAN, in which Anne acted, and which boosted him into the bigtime.

Eventually, we also had enough money to hire some super-dedicated staff to watch over the forever-breaking-down-video equipment, and to help the women from a position somewhat similar to what the Industry calls an Assistant Director, that is to say a wonderwoman of all trades. There were several of these passionate and dedicated women (the situation tended to wear them out quickly). The one I remember most vividly was Catherine Coulson, who went on to multifarious and deserved success with David Lynch and almost a cult following as "the Log Lady" in TWIN PEAKS.

However, now that it was a school-year rather than a summer program, we were in desperate need of another piece of editing equipment. The students' shooting equipment would be borrowed only intermittently, but it takes hours and hours and hours and hours to edit, especially in video. The editing machine cost $14,000. With the rest of the money, we were back to offering three tapes each to twelve women at the same $300 budgets as the students got. That left us $5,200 to buy whatever other shooting equipment we might need, pay personnel, cover expenses, overhead, etc. etc. etc. I can still see Toni on the phone to Washington, the "poor Italian immigrant" dressed in his de rigueur Carroll's suit, trying to wheedle a few extra pennies for his and my salaries out of Deputy Director Richard Carlton for taking on this whole new full time job in addition to the full time jobs we already had.

No dice.

But lots of laughter re Toni's "performance" -- based way back there on fact. Though he came from money in Italy, the Communists in Bologna had confiscated his property and he came to this country with little more than his clothes -- which were not then status symbols from Rodeo Road. (In those pre-inflation, fast-lane, days I, too, spent my modest salary on Puccis, Guccis, and Hermes scarves.) So the DWW's budget evaporated into sheer mathematics. I think Matilda was delighted we were able to squeeze our vision into $30,000, and the money came through in the fall.

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In the meantime, Juleen Compton put on a lunch for me at her "little pink house" in Bel Air where she and I and her male secretary Victor Gentile (pronounced gen-til-ee) giggled and cooked and swam in her pool when I had the energy to join them at the end of my thirty-nine hour days. Juleen is an incredible woman. She still looked like the ingenue she had been on Broadway, when she stole Harold Clurman from Stella Adler, married him, divorced him and more or less kept him solvent until his death some thirty years later. Then Stella moved back in and snatched up Harold's furniture (that Juleen had paid for). Juleen was extremely generous in her way and supported several ex-husbands at that time, and lived through several more after that.

She, a self-made millionaire, had the most delightful house in Bel Air. She had also made two feature films independently, one in Greece and one in America. Made outside the Hollywood mainstream, the films had gotten her no-where in movie-land. Before I met her, she had also been invited by Andre Malraux, then Minister of Culture in France, to be his official castle-restorer because she had flawless taste and loved to live around lumber and flying plaster dust. She declined the honor re the castles and had recently moved to the City of the Angels to, again, try her hand at movies. She was brilliant, witty and had infinite energy. She, who always called me "an exotic bloom," opened my refrigerator one day and seeing the capers and the cookies, remarked: "All of the luxuries and none of the necessities."

I mentioned this new project to her, and told her that one of the women I wanted to meet was Adrian Joyce, ne Carol Eastman, who had written the brilliant FIVE EASY PIECES, and who, aside from being anorexic and reclusive, was rumored to want to direct. So Juleen had a lunch for ten or twelve. AJ/CE came and she dined. I personally saw her put a whisper of Roquefort on an edge of melba toast and take a nibble the size of a toothpick's end.

She couldn't have been less interested in talking to me. I tried to sketch out the idea of the workshop and she yawned. This is particularly interesting because when her chums all got elected to the DWW, she, who had not bothered to apply, tried to bribe her way in. I mean, offered money! I mean, she was hysterical about it, and couldn't believe being turned down. But we couldn't go against our Boards, our publicly scrutinized selection procedures. When she finally made it into the DWW in its third year, via the normal process, she was one of the ones who never made a tape. She was however in good company: Lily Tomlin, Nancy Walker, Trish Van Devere, Cecily Tyson, Nan Martin, Maya Angelou, etc. never made or never finished their tapes either. But they lent the DWW lustre and, at the same time, saved us money that we could use for the other women.

To find possible candidates, I also called Verna Fields -- a top editor, one of the earliest women of power -- at Universal, and she urged me to forget getting anyone who was anybody in the Industry because we weren't basically offering anybody anything. What was I to do? We really did want the Big Fish. For by now we had women in the Independent Filmmaker (grant) Program (getting budgets up to $10,000). All very fine, working hard, making some very good films, and unable to break into the ranks of the known. Same in the Academy Internship Program, same at the Center for Advanced Film Studies. We wanted more visibility than one more program of good intention and impeccable selection procedures could give us.

Martin Manulis to the rescue; "Call up the Big Ladies," he said and helped me draw up a list.

So I did.

I didn't know a single one of them, but I called them and humbly told them about this little program we were planning, and asked them if they knew anyone (this was Martin's strategy) who would be interested. Graciously, and I might add, with much careful thought, each gave me a list of names -- and about half of them ended the list by asking: "Would I qualify?"

"Oh yes, of course. Oh yes, indeed. Just send in a bio." (You don't, I learned early on, ask any one of film-star-stature for a "resume".) Soon we were getting applications from Marsha, Lee, Anne, Ellen, Dyan, Lily, Viveca, Julia, Cecily, Kathleen, Maya, Margot. I couldn't believe the list as it grew and grew. (I used to dance around the office with the applications in my hand. We, Toni and my four secretaries: Maureen McAndrews (who later became wife of a script writer who later became a Universal VP and later, I think, head of either Universal or some other studio), Judy Wiseman, Donna Dubain,and Inga Tilachek (who kept the astrology charts for the major players at the AFI in her desk drawer), and I were all laughing and singing and jumping for joy. We knew we had a tiger by the tail. A lion by the bosom? I knew! Toni knew! Martin knew! we all knew! we had a winner on our hands. I could hardly breathe for the excitement. We'd make such a splash that people, that is to say, Industry Moguls, would hear! would see! The women would make fabulous films!

The criteria for applicants was women who had already done something notable in feature films. Aside from the publicly famous names -- mostly actresses -- we had a lot of Industry-famous applicants: writers, producers, studio executives -- whose names, for the most part, remain unknown outside the Industry. These women, famous only "within the family," always composed at least two thirds of the DWW membership. Keep this is mind.

The actresses were great window dressing, or, as Chuck Heston used to say, "You plan the show, I'll be the meat." He was our Board Chairman through all these years, conscious of and always wonderfully generous with his fame.

The actresses, as it turned out, were often the most talented at directing. No great surprise. Who had more contact with directors? Who had more hands-on opportunity to view directing and to develop a passion for wanting to do it? Many of the finest tapes made in the DWW were done during our first three sessions by those "undeserving" movie stars: Marsha Mason, Dyan Cannon, Anne Bancroft, Margot Kidder, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Grant, Joanne Woodward. Other outstanding tapes were made by Judy Chaikin (an hilarious spoof on agents and the Academy Awards), Susan Oliver, Julia Phillips, Nessa Hyams, Nancy Malone, Marilyn Bergman, Lynn Roth, Kathleen Nolan, and Hollywood's first-ever union camerawoman, Brianne Murphy.

Dyan Cannon's DWW project, NUMBER ONE was nominated for an Academy Award, Lee Grant's THE STRONGER was made into a stunning film, Anne Bancroft's tape was expanded into her first feature. And soon, with their tapes to showcase their talent, Nessa Hyams was doing episodes for TV's MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN, Joanne Woodward was directing television films, Randa Haines won an Academy Award for CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, and Karen Arthur began a career in which she has probably directed more film and television than any other woman since the mediums were invented.

Sometime later, a year or so after we started, Barbra Streisand came on an inquiry visit -- but I was out of town. Nonetheless in this exhilarating atmosphere, she directed a a major motion picture without ever being a DWW member, as did the three Joans: Joan Micklin Silver, Joan Darling and Joan Tewksbury, all supportive friends of the DWW. At the same time more recognition was accorded to the woman directors who had made films as AFI grantees: Martha Coolidge, Barbara Kopple, Claudia Weil, etc.. The DWW became the rallying point, the fountainhead back to which the ever-growing stream of women directors, world wide, traced their inspiration, their first opportunity to quench their thirst to tell it their way to the big audience.

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But I've jumped way ahead of the story.

The first DWW Review Board, convened in early 1974 to choose the initial members of the Workshop, was to be all women. Toni and I chose: Marcia Nasiter, VP at Columbia, one of the first women to be VP of a major studio in Hollywood; Kitty Hawks, Howard Hawks' daughter and at that time an agent. I met Kitty when she came with Billy Freidkin to screen films for my first IFP Review Board, before she married Ned Tanen, President of Universal. She was a sweet and generous woman, helpful to me and the Institute for many years. The third Review Board member was Joan Didion, who had also been on my first IFP Review Board, and who, anorexic, neurotic, high society and a very famous writer, was also smart -- we assumed. And the fourth was Barbara Schultz, brand new as an Exec at PBS (KCET), where she had just taken up the reins on some grand new programs and monies. We assumed they were all smart and savvy.

We sent copies of the applications out ahead of time so each Review Board Member could read them before the meeting -- convened in the evening to fit their schedules. Three came. Barbara had a higher priority meeting at KCET and couldn't come. But she sent over her votes. The Gods, unknown to us, were smiling, even though the flaw in the plans (BS's absence) was a bit upsetting.

Martin, however, could attend, but he was brand new as our AFI Director-West. I think this was his first experience of sitting in on a Review Board, aside from when he had been on my second IFP Review Board helping to select the grantees -- and, unbeknownst to him, auditioning for his AFI-Director-West role. For it was I who suggested him for that job -- to Toni, and Toni thence to George. He did it the best of any one who ever held that title, even if he didn't last too long. He soon fled back to producing Hollywood movies where life was considerably less stressful than at AFI -- his most memorable quip, out of an abundance of quips from one of the wittiest men in filmdom, being: "A day away from AFI is like a month in the country."

Why was AFI so stressful? Well, first of all, it was due to George having built the most extraordinary house of cards -- we were doing the $8 million worth of programs recommended by the Stanford Research Institute for an American Film Institute to do on a $3 million budget. In the first years of the Institute, George's attitude (if he liked an idea) had been: "Go ahead. We'll find the money some place." Eventually, of course, he got his knuckles rapped by our Balance the Budget or Else! Movie Mogul Board, which imposed an intervening structure between George and all the creative "us-s" around -- to keep him on track. Thus arrived the Deputy Director, et al. Second, what money we did have came from various sources who needed to be satisfied: The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Hollywood Establishment, Private Individuals, Public and Private Foundations, etc. Third, the constituencies we were to serve had few interests in common: the Filmmakers, the Educators, the Archivists, the Critical Studies people, Programming people, Catalog people, our magazine, American Film, etc. You name it, they each had a different idea of the priorities of an American Film Institute, and their interest was at the top of their list!

No matter what you did for whom, you could be sure people from the other sectors would criticize you for it in public, in the press, and on TV. In my area (Production Programs), when you made any decision at all, some of the people who didn't get the awards or the grants or whatever, would start calling up your funders, even the "Mother-funder," behind your back, and tell them as vicious tales as their film-honed, frenetically creative minds could script.

After many years of fending off this kind of frenzied jealousy, I finally found a name for it: Institutional Abuse, where -- because the AFI (or any other institution) has a grand sounding name and inhabits a big stone house -- it is presumed, by definition, to be indestructible and, therefore, fair game: whatever abuse you heap on it can't harm it. They forget that in the beginning humans created it (George and President Lyndon Johnson thought it up in the Rose Garden at the White House) and in the end, humans are equally capable of destroying it.

That "Mother-funder" quip, by the way, I felt was one of my best. It came to me one day when I was composing one more request to NEA for whatever funds. It suddenly fell right out of my head onto the paper. Toni suggested I delete it from the final draft.

Anyway, that night in 1974, Martin was still a little naive. Or let's put it the other way, Toni and I, by then, had a lot of experience with Review Boards. We had worked as a team for over three years, creating new procedures and running seven IFP Boards together. We had also invented and oversaw new AIP and CAFS selection procedures. We knew there was a bit more of an agenda to be got through than everyone just ticking off their favorite filmmakers or friends, or voting for the underdogs. For the Directing Workshop for Women we needed immensely talented women, we needed the different professions represented, we needed some minorities, we needed the stars -- and we had a perfect list of applicants.

But Martin didn't know the value of time, of a lot of seemingly casual chat before voting-time about how a public institution needs to design the structure of its programs and its membership. And he didn't know to keep on talking before, during and after the vote. Things always settle down after awhile. We were never interested in particular people -- it had taken Toni just a week or two to teach me that -- but as a public institution we were always interested in the overall composition. We needed balance more than we needed anything. No one knew this better than the Token Woman who had been brought in to balance an institution which, at that time, was completely male run and which didn't particularly want to be balanced. Toni and I had found that if you kept talking long enough people came to understand.

But tonight Martin let the vote come in very quickly. Everyone had read the material on the sixty-plus applicants. The discussion on each was brief, because most were well known to the Board Members. Each Review Board Member took her list and ticked off her choices. (After my arrival at AFI, you might be interested to know, no AFI Staff member ever again cast a vote on any of the Production Program Review Boards and the composition of those Boards from then on always included some women and, fairly frequently, majorities of women. In addition, no one who was being voted on sat on the Board that was voting -- and stepped out of the room when their project came up -- as was commonplace at other Institutions.)

Only one person got four votes: Barbara Schultz had sent over a special plea for her and the others responded because her choice was a perfect underdog. And everyone else, we figured out later, also voted heavily for the lesser known. It looked like each one threw a bone to a famous friend -- who they wouldn't be able to face if they hadn't actually vote for. So the "really deserving" got a couple of votes each, and a few famous names one vote each. We had twelve spaces, and we would, within the top twelve, via these "savvy" ladies, have no "stars" at all.

We would have to say no to all the Big Ladies. Imagine the friendly feelings that would engender! And you can't, you really can't tell the media (re our anticipated fame and light-years' advancement for women directors) who you turned down. We were cutting our own throats and doing it behind closed doors. The program was doomed. Doomed to become one more well meaning, obscure effort. And all but politically indefensible in that we didn't have a single minority.

I couldn't believe it, nor could Toni, when Martin, for once with completely witless elan, accepted the vote and closed the meeting. These women, these four -- or three in attendance -- were being sent home without even knowing what they had done. They had done the American thing, obeyed the au courant morality. I think they weren't even aware of the knee-jerk mechanism at play. Each wanted to be sure that when the others all voted for their famous-friends, there were going to be a few lesser-knowns on the list. The women, if they had any sense at all, must have been rather non-plussed at the results, but they didn't quite know what to do. Toni and I knew what to do, but we also were in a position, in public, to defer to (support) our new boss. I mean, he was a good boss, then and always thereafter -- the best! as I recall, if a bit wild, with a Greek temper. We let the Review Board go. We mourned, we fretted, there was nothing to be done.

God! what a disaster!

"Three dumb broads," -- if you'll pardon the expression. But its the only thing Martin and Toni and I could think to say to each other when our distinguished guests had left. We stood there with vacant eyes, dashed hopes, the imminent promise of making enemies tomorrow of those we wanted to befriend and to help, and whose help we, as well as all other women in Hollywood, would be sure to want in the future. Having had the guts to put themselves on the line, what a slap in the face for the stars!

And I personally knew from experience that these good, newly elected, hardworking, but lacking the magic-of-media-loved-names, DWW women were not going to get one step closer to the opportunity to direct real feature films in the real world, while I worked twice as hard at one more job, in addition to the three thirteen-hour-a-day, IFP, AIP and CAFS jobs I already did. The films made by those selected would probably be fine, just as a lot of excellent films came in from women in the grant program and from the Center For Advanced Film Studies, but, ultimately, few would see them, hear of them, or care. The Somebodies of Hollywood would continue to shrug them off. A little encouragement here, a little pat on the back there. And things would go on as they were.

The consciousness of our Ladies of the Review Board was confined to helping the deserving unknown, the needy. They had in a word, no savvy re running with the winners, re minorities, re how they'd got where they themselves were, how in Hollywood Success more than any other single factor breeds Success. They didn't want to know, I'm sure. They wanted to believe in their own romantic gestures, to believe in the too-many Hollywood movies they had seen about the triumph of the underdog. They also wanted to believe that who they were could make a difference, not realizing the only difference that could be made was who the members of the DWW were. They, in a word, had their heads (your choice) in the sand, up their ass. We, the DWW, were the victims, as we were to be from then until the day I departed the AFI, of a virulent reverse discrimination. The media and the underprivileged demanded we help the underprivileged and the needy, when what we wanted to do was help the most talented and those most likely to succeed, so that we could wedge open the iron-barred doors into the promised land of equal opportunity for women to direct major feature and television films like the Big Boys did. Hollywood is no respecter of need and very little a respecter of talent; it's a crowd you need to be in to be in.

So now the DWW was condemned to be one more obscure program no one had ever heard of with members nobody would ever hear of, before it had even began. I think I kept no record (after the next day) of who was in and who was out on that first vote, but I can assure you that if you're not in the Industry you probably wouldn't have known any of the twelve names on that initial list.

I could not bear to see my dream die in the laps of the successful who refused to vote for the superlatively successful. Reverse snobbism is as wild in the Industry as it is in most areas of American life. Everyone wants to be rich or "successful," but since most aren't (almost nobody is, by her own definition, successful), when push comes to shove, everyone turns on the rich and/or successful and/or famous. You wouldn't think people would fight so hard to get to the position where hatred comes with the territory. If all the later "famous lady" critics of the DWW knew who really got in on that first vote they would have been exultant, except they would never have heard of the program in the first place. The media is very keen on letting sleeping underdogs lie -- unnoticed.

I went home. I couldn't sleep. I mulled and mulled and mulled and mulled. What could I do? I couldn't jimmy the vote, I couldn't rescind it, and I COULDN'T tell all those Big Ladies they weren't good enough for our measly $300 budgets. Then gazing again and again at the list, a plan hatched. Up the minorities! Hooray for Equal Opportunities!

+ + +

So I slept the rest of that night and dreamt about a marble drawbridge opening, a carriage, a white horse falling. It was like that scene in OCTOBER or TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, Eisenstein's film about the beginning of the Russian Revolution, just before they open fire on the Winter Palace.

During all the years since then, though I remembered it vividly, I could never figure out the symbolism of that dream -- but just now, as I wrote the above, it became clear: The Neva drawbridge is opening high into the air. But it's not the bridge that's important, it's the revolution starting. I really was going to start a revolution, but the marble bridge would have to break apart to facilitate it.

Jan Haag at Greystone, Beverly Hills, ca.1978
Photo: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

So, next morning, first thing, I talked to Toni. He and I were always the first to arrive at the Institute. Then I went over -- Ms. Machiavelli-- to talk to Martin.

I think he even called me Ms. Machiavelli. He said, "Good luck."

And, giving thanks to Stella Adler for my fine training in Stanislavsky's "method acting," I got on the horn. I called Barbara Schultz first. I told her her darling was in, but that we were in a pickle because Maya Angelou, the only black woman on the top list, who was either Barbara's second favorite or at least a top contender, hadn't gotten in and we really needed, as a public institution, a black woman.

"Yes, of course," Barbara agreed. She knew what it was to answer for a publicly supported institution. Indeed, she, at PBS with her new program, was probably as much a Token Woman as I was, so we had a lot of sympathy for a Token Black Woman. Besides, Maya was seven feet tall. And the most regal of us all.

I said: "The only way we can do it is take in all the eighteen women who got as many votes as she did, instead of just the twelve who got the top votes. And each of these eighteen women will get to do only two tapes, instead of three."

(Oh wise and accidental decision! Over the years many DWW women made one tape, a few made two and some made none. No one ever even asked to make three. Remember, however, that the students usually made ten minute tapes, whereas the majority of DWW women, with their tiny budgets, plus their own funds, did major productions of from twenty minutes to an hour. They, these top Industry Women, didn't so much need repeated experiences as they needed tapes to use as demos. They didn't need, nor were they given, instruction. The DWW was designed for quick accomplishment, not talk. The membership met only when one of the women's projects was ready for review and critique. It was not a workshop for students. CAFS existed for students, and the IFP existed for all film genres -- both offered bigger budgets and/or instruction.)

So I called Kitty Hawks, Joan Didion and Marcia Nasiter, and told them that Barbara insisted that Maya Angelou be taken in and, to do that with any semblance of fairness, we'd have to take in everyone who got the same amount of votes she got, i.e. one vote. Six women in all (which, thank God, included some famous names).

"Oh yes, of course, if Barbara insists."

+ + +

That's how the DWW fulfilled its mission the day its Membership was announced. (On the strength of the announcement, Lee Grant was offered her first directing job.) All the amazing tapes that were subsequently made in the DWW were gravy because those Big Ladies were in there and on the strength of their names the program was visible. VISIBLE. We were instantly successful because we were made up, no matter how sketchily, of the Visibly Successful. And the newspapers, and the TV personalities, and especially those women who kept carping at us about the famous names never did understand their own Pavlovian reactions, their own, at times, outrageous tactics to get in.

Why did they want in? (We weren't in any monetary sense, as Verna had assured me, offering anything to anybody.) Because the program was famous and effective. Why was it famous? Because those famous ladies, whose presence we were so much maligned for, were in it. And the rest of the Hollywood syllogism: Why was it effective? Because it was famous, i.e. successful.

The Moguls heard! It was like the sound of Krakatoa circling the earth. They listened! They began to take the volcanic ambitions of the women seriously. Not because of anything they did, but just because a band of Top Notch Women were given the chance to band together to make a statement. The statement being: "We want to direct. AFI's Directing Workshop for Women is the only place in town to give us a chance (though that chance is only $300 budgets and some video tape machinery that is too new as technology to work very well) so we're going to take it and run with it."

And they did.

They made history.

All women benefited. With one stroke half the problems of women directors were solved. They had attention. They had serious attention. The rest was hard work and sweat.

+ + +

Listed below are the original eighteen members of the DWW: 1. Maya Angelou, writer. (You never knew it but your race helped open the way for your sisters as directors.) 2. Karen Arthur, director. 3. Ellen Burstyn, actress, Academy Award nominee and winner. 4. Juleen Compton, director. (Later we excluded people who had already directed features.) 5. Lee Grant, actress, Emmy Award Winner and Academy Award nominee. 6. Nessa Hyams, VP and casting director, Columbia Pictures. 7. Margot Kidder, actress (long before SUPERMAN made her a superstar). 7. Joanna Lee , writer and Emmy Award Winner. 8. Lynne Littman, producer. 9. Kathleen Nolan, actress, Emmy Award winner, First VP and subsequently first woman President of SAG. 10. Julia Phillips", producer, later, DWW funder, and author. 11. Susan Martin, producer-editor. 12. Marjorie Mullen, script supervisor. 13. Giovanna Nigro, director. 14. Susan Oliver, actress and award winning pilot who, upon her untimely death, left a good chunk of funding for the DWW. 15. Gail Parent, writer. 16. Marion Rothman, editor. 17. Lily Tomlin, comedienne, who never did a tape but later directed a feature. 18. Nancy Walker, actress.

If you don't work in the Industry, how many of those name are known to you? Yet they are all notables in their fields, some of the unknown-to-you are very highly thought of within "the family."

We wanted the DWW to work. We wanted women to get a chance to direct feature films. We didn't really care if it served, in a narrower sense, the needy or the unknown. Since no one, studio or independent, was hiring any females to direct feature films, all women were, in our view, deserving of equal support and encouragement. We were quite willing to solve one problem at a time.

When I used to face the press almost every other day about the DWW, I was constantly challenged by the reporters -- too often women -- on the subject of the famous names. I would say: "Here's the list." (I carried it around for years as the front sheet in my little black address book for just this purpose.) "If you count, you will see that very few, less then one third of the women in the DWW are what you might call "famous." But the fact is that you, the media, make it seem like there are only famous actresses in the DWW because those are the only names that you publish." And sure enough, when that very reporter's article was printed, she, too, listed only the famous names.

I suspect the reporters, having listened to my little homily, often listed all the names but that their editors then crossed out the unknowns as not newsworthy. The papers drubbed us on the one hand over the presence of the famous names, and gave up coverage of the DWW when, in its fourth session, the actresses began to disappear after the administration of AFI changed hands and the new dictum came down from the top (because she was scared of the "bad publicity"): "No more famous names." After that, the program became a "teaching" program and dropped into hard working obscurity clutching the fallout from its illustrious past. Many greatly talented women worked harder than ever, but the magic star-dust was no longer there to make them visible. Now, with the success of many women film directors, it remains one available path into the jungle of Hollywood.

You can see why, not only did I defend the presence of the Big Ladies, I spent quite a bit of den-mother energy guarding their right to privacy, to hone their craft behind closed doors because we were continually badgered by writers/journalists who wanted to sit in on the workings of the DWW, to write its history, to announce its philosophy, to invade its sets, to ogle its famous women, to make a name for themselves, and our answer was always, "No."

The stars didn't want the media on their sets or premature reviews of their projects. Nor did they want to do "dog and pony shows" for the AFI, nor, though a fair number helped with DWW funding, did they want to be Star Attractions for AFI funding drives for other programs. They didn't want to feel used. (In a word they were as terrified of being on the line for their long-time dreams as any neophyte sailor was when the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria first hoisted their sails.)

+ + +

The early days of the DWW coincided with the golden time of the feminist movement in Hollywood. We were really going to change the world, make men eat their own rauchy world view. A number of those early tapes showed feminist viewpoints not yet seen, even to this day, on the public screens of America. I think in particular of Sandy Weintraub's tape about sexual harassment: the awesome hurt of a girl forced to sell her body to pay the ordinary bills of modern life; Rae Allen's detailed portrait of family life, Madeleine Sherwood's courageous psychological study, as well as the beauty of Lee Grant's version of Strindberg's THE STRONGER. The tapes also dramatized a remarkable spectrum of ethnic views, such as Carole Oligario's two efforts and Maysie Hoy's BOX OF DREAMS that, again, have yet to be explored on commercial TV or in theatrical films. And Margot Kidder posed nude for Playgirl. It was done as a feminist statement that the female body could be shown in all its beauty without having as its object the titillation of the male sex. She also made one of the DWW's most stunning tapes about the fragility of a "free spirit" who others must possess -- and never pursued her directing career further.

Thus, within a few years, discouragement became a factor. Though some of the DWW tapes were daringly experimental and often spoke profoundly to women (and men who could listen), most of the women's films that got made in the "real" world of Hollywood differed very little from men's films. Why? Well, "script approval," "the final cut," the power remained mostly in male hands. And then, of course, there's always that question of talent and that really nitty-gritty question of the opportunity to develop. How many great first films have men made? Who was really willing to risk a second and third chance on a woman who had made a good but not "box-office-buster" first film? And who, in the opinion of many a studio-boss, wanted to see those "weird" films anyway: no ruthless violence, no glorification of sleaze, sadistic sex, war -- no "action." Never mind compassion, beauty, explication of the human spirit.

A lot of women said they wanted to direct, but even when the circumstances were favorable they didn't jump into the still crucifying fight for their place behind the camera. Which though understandable, was nonetheless disappointing. Some of the women were courageous enough to say that what they learned in the DWW was that, given the opportunity to see what it was like, they really didn't want to direct (at least in the Hollywood milieu). Maybe I felt the disappointment so acutely because I found this true of myself. I had originally come to Hollywood to direct, but given a decade's experience inside Hollywood, "No thank you, I didn't want to be in show biz either." After helping to open the door for women directors, I never so much as put a toe across the threshold of directing, though it took me a long while to admit, even to myself, the depth of my disillusionment.

The sleaze along the road to Hollywood success appalled me. I simply broke down after awhile at the sadness of my "glamorous" job which so often, at least in part, consisted of trying to conjure away the revulsion of idealistic young people by convincing them of how lucky they were to get any chance to direct -- most often some third-rate, sadistic and/or adolescent sex and violence trash ...

"You have to start somewhere."

It became increasingly more difficult to pretend to rejoice when a new and superbly intelligent woman director got a chance to direct some idiotic TV pap, or to not cry when I saw blood flow from the mouths of those who tried year after year after year to realize even one small part of their original dream of bringing beauty, new perspectives, something of lasting value to the screen. The power in Hollywood still lies with those who, for the most part, believe that the lowest passions, the most appalling violence, perversions, or silliness are what sell images to a jaded public. And, apparently, they do. But is that the sole goal of the most powerful art and teaching medium the world has ever known? Always remember,"monkey see, monkey do". Look around, see what we have been taught by the movies!

Before I left tinsel town, in 1982, however, I spent seven more years of my life defending, with great diplomacy, AFI policies, the DWW -- and The Famous. In fact, (for someone who needed to flash it to the media to tone down the criticism from those who, quite literally, "make" the news) I wrote a memo on the subject, a classic comparable to a diplomatic paper by, say, Madison or Jefferson, or. . . well let's stick with Jefferson, the slave owning Jefferson, who denied his own half-breed slave children, but defended freedom better than anyone.

+ + +

Only four or five people were ever privy to the above story of the vote. Even the Board Members probably never knew it happened -- so smooth was the Token Woman in loading the dice. So why should a nice Token Lady like me load the dice. For success naturally. What else is anyone ever in the fast lane for? I wanted the Directing Workshop for Women to succeed, not be just one more altruistic gesture in the wind. It took me years, however, to get over my -- what was it? -- ethical failure? the knowledge that I had "used" the stars?

No, not really. It was a queasiness based on the fact that I had become so smart, calculating, shrewd, that I was capable of discovering what to do and doing it! that I had succeeded at it! and that I truly rejoiced! I had done it. I was glad. I believe in Women Directors!

But being shrewd, calculating, smart, savvy had not been part of my orignal vision or goal in life. I, like the students, had idealistic dreams about making beautiful films, saying something of importance to my fellow humans. But now I had become known (not in a terribly big way, for the DWW became far more famous than I ever was) around the world (I got cajoling phone calls from England -- Rita Tushingham, France, India, Sweden -- Liv Ulman, Algeria, Denmark -- And truly, I was delighted. How could one not have been delighted to help so many with hardly more than a Quem Quaeritis Trope!

In a word, it was my loss of innocence that bothered me, my personal realization of the great slimey grey matter that makes up a good deal more of the Movie Industry's ecosystem than does talent and ideals.

When Toni, a few years later, to my horror, told our new AFI Director-West, Bob Blumofe, the story behind the DWW's founding and success, he, like the others who knew, thought it a great coup. But I didn't want to do it again.

The whole mileu and the almost pathological committment to see the DWW succeed, I felt, had turned me into a savvy monster. Something that happens a lot in Hollywood. Even right then, in the third session, I was ready to leave. I had had enough and had seen enough heart-break. I wanted to go back to being human. But it took me a few years, and considerably more heart-ache, before I got out of there. Nonetheless, the founding of the DWW remains one of the best things I was ever involved in in my life, and, in the last 16 years, I've recovered quite a bit from being "driven."

+ + +

The Rockefeller Foundation, as did Anna Bing Arnold, funded the first three sessions of the DWW. Our budgets increased to the point that, by the third session, we were able to offer the women $2,000 budgets. Julia Phillips helped fund the second session. For the third session some funding came from the The Markel Foundation, after David Picker, then President of Paramount, I believe, or Orion, called me up and said his sister worked as a program officer for some foundation -- of which he could not remember the name -- which would be interested in funding the DWW. He gave me her phone number. That program officer eventually moved over to head AFI where, besides changing the nature of The DWW, she (just like a man) instituted a credit-grab -- a not unusual practice in Hollywood.

Dr. Matilda Krim asked us not to mention her name in the press release announcing the start of the program: a great lady and a discreet one -- probably the only personage, since Margaret Mitchell, who, sitting in powerful proximity to the movies, truly didn't want to get involved in the "glamour" of Hollywood. Dr. Krim is, and was then, a cancer research scientist. Later, she became Director of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, and has now become publicly known for her work in the forefront of the battle against AIDS.

One of the most amusing consequences of DWW's fame was that as notable film women from all over the world started calling AFI, they called not only me, but also our Washington, D.C. office to ask George (never a great feminist) about getting into the DWW -- because he, already famous, had now become exceedingly famous as "The Director of the American Film Institute for Women!"

He, of course, had the last laugh. For when I, aware of how desperately we needed greater funding, went out stumping to raise more money, I was soon severely chastized, and given to understand that I was to confine my efforts to designated places, modest proposals, the odd chance phone call and dialogues with God. The DWW needed to be kept in balance with AFI's other programs! I quite dutifully, and because I didn't want to see the women's energies diverted from directing to revolution, kept the under-pinnings of this balancing act (wicked betrayal) secret.

"The need to revolute will always be with us..." to paraphrase a well known figure, but in my opinion, at that moment in time, there was the real possiblity that if the women stuck with their stated purpose, and garnered contracts and kudos (or more likely kudos and contracts), there would be women directors -- which might eliminate the need for at least this one revolution. Remember, one step at a time! -- remember, also, short supply of money is not the crucial factor if you want to change the world. It's always easier to mutiny than to run the ship of state. So, the DWW accepted the monies that came in and got on with the show.

And soon -- regarding kangaroos: In the late '70s, from down under, the Australian women began to direct and by now have a growing collection of extraordinarily fine films to their credit. Their rise, and the rise, indeed, of the whole Australian Film Industry has been like a supernova! Who'd have guessed that a quarter century ago? Or that dozens of women would be directing major films all over the world before the end of the 20th Century! And hundreds, maybe thousands -- after.

C'est la vie.





ripple ...

Copyright © 2007 through 2015 Jan Haag

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail:

(Approximately 10,000 words)

Excerpt from an unpublished autobiography, Vol 3: TOKEN WOMAN. Haag's personal papers relating to her eleven years with AFI, and other manuscript, are archived in the Special Collections Section of The Blagg-Huey Library at Texas Women's Univesity in Denton Texas.

Texas Woman's University Library in Denton, Texas

TWU, Special Women's Collection

After being Director of National Production Programs for The American Film Institute for eleven years, I retired in 1982 to the bliss of anonymity and voluntary simplicity, and since then have written about 5,000 poems. I send great love to all women directors in every country all over the world.

Jan Haag
Seattle, Washington




21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context