Women in Hollywood Seeking to Help Out New Female Filmmakers

A group of high profile Hollywood women are joining a new initiative that seeks to help the next generation of female directors.

"Females First" is a project that looks to established industry names to select work from women they think deserve to be highlighted. Jane Campion and Helen Mirren are among those participating in the initiative, launched by Dazed and Confused magazine. Dazed's Video Commissioning Editor, Jennifer Byrne said they were seeking an alternative to Hollywood's "male, middle-aged, middle-class, white perspective of the world."

"All the films coming to me are from the same angle," she said. "We're not anti-men, but we want to encourage more young women to pick up the camera so we have greater diversity in what we're watching. Girls lack confidence to pick up a camera because they think they need to be technical but a director is just someone who has a story to tell and can tell it clearly."

According to the New Zealand Herald, Top of The Lake director Campion sort of broke the rules with her pick (because it is a preexisting short), but who is going to nitpicky about rules with an Oscar winner?

[Campion] picked the first film-maker, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, though she has selected something the Iranian-born director has already made. Needle, which won a prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival and tells of a young girl getting her ears pierced in the midst of her parents' divorce, will open Dazed's Females First project this week.

"Needle impressed me with its humor, clarity and unique tone. I felt something I rarely do when watching short films - awed," Campion said.

Sienna Miller chose playwright Polly Stenham, who wrote The Face. Other women joining the initiative include Swedish director Maja Borg and actress/writer Sarah Soleman.

Women who are selected will get about $3300-$8300 to create a short film or music video featured on the magazine's site.

Image via Getty Images.