New nod set for female filmmakers

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Angela Bassett, Jennifer Lopez, producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Gale Anne Hurd, director Mimi Leder and PMK/HBH publicist Catherine Olim are among those who will serve as judges for the LMN Student Filmmaker Competition. The nationwide contest is being launched by Lifetime Movie Network, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Women in Film & Television, WMA and Women in Film.

The competition, which will honor outstanding short films produced by female film students from throughout the country, is open to all female film students, including executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors. The intention is to "encourage and discover the next generation of female filmmakers."

"In 2005, women comprised 17% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 domestic-grossing films," LMN executive vp and GM Louise Henry Bryson said. "This is the same percentage of women employed in these roles in 1998. Through this competition, we hope to grow that percentage by helping to find the next great women filmmakers who will make important contributions to the Hollywood community."

In addition to the aforementioned judges, a representative from each of the partner organizations also will serve as judges.

The first- and second-place winners will have the opportunity to screen their films at a special program curated by NYWIFT at the 2007 Hamptons International Film Festival in October and be honored with a reception afterward. They also will be invited to attend the 2007 Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast hosted by THR and Lifetime Networks in December.

The winning films will be featured on-air on LMN and will be shown in their entirety on LMN's Web site. Additionally, the first- and second-place winners as well as two runners-up will receive cash prizes and have the opportunity to meet with representatives of WMA.

"Throughout the history of film, there have been women making their mark behind the camera, but not in numbers commensurate with their representation in other areas of the business," THR vp and executive editor Paula Parisi said. "We're proud to be part of Lifetime's efforts to bring more talented women to the attention of people with decision-making power."

The competition runs through July 16, with the winners to be announced in October. For more information, visit LMN.tv/studentfilmmakers.

Separately on Tuesday, the recipients of the 2007 Women in Film Foundation's Film Finishing Fund were announced. The fund supports filmmakers "who make thoughtful and provocative films by or about women" with cash awards ranging from $1,000-$5,000.

This year's honorees are Leyla Leidecker, Cynthia Wade, Becky Smith, Ermena Vinluan, Beth Murphy, Lulu Fries'dat, Ginny Martin, Nicole Quinn, Ilana Trachtman and Linda Pattillo.
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