Madsen is backer of Title IX


Virginia Madsen is stepping behind the camera and forming a production company with partner Karly Meola called Title IX Prods.

Madsen and Meola have been working for the past two years on a slate of films and documentaries for the shingle.

Title IX's first project is the fully financed documentary "I Know a Woman Like That," directed by Madsen's mother, Elaine Madsen, about the lives of extraordinary women ages 64-94.

The duo also has several projects in development that they're ready to shop around for financing, including screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez's screen adaptation of Martha O'Connor's novel "The Bitch Posse" and a remake of the 1984 film "Electric Dreams," in which Madsen appeared.

But the actress said they're not setting up the company for vanity projects.

"My intent is to make other people's films, not films that I necessarily star in," said Madsen, who was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for 2004's "Sideways." "There is one I'm looking at where I will have a supporting role, and it will help the movie get off the ground, but my main interest is not projects that star me."

Meola said their slate is a "good mixture" of films that could be indie-based or studio projects.

Meola is Madsen's former personal assistant. Over the years, the two discussed forming the production company and the type of films they would make.

The company's name, Title IX, comes from the 1972 U.S. law forbidding discrimination in schools and universities based on gender, but Madsen and Meola said that doesn't mean they will only produce female-driven films.

"We kind of saw it as we want to be able to play on equal ground," Meola said. "Of course, we want to talk about female issues but not just tell stories about women."

Added Madsen, "I like the idea we're leveling the playing field."

For now, the duo's shingle will be home-based, focusing its financing on securing writers and getting projects off the ground.

"We're taking it one step at a time and not biting off more than we can chew," Madsen said.