OWN, Discovery, Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation to Offer Free Student Screenings of 'Half the Picture'

Approximately 1,500 tickets for screenings of the documentary featuring female directors will be distributed to students in New York and Los Angeles.

Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network, The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) and Discovery will donate 1,500 tickets to students in New York and Los Angeles for free screenings of the upcoming documentary Half the Picture from Gravitas Ventures.

The documentary celebrates the work of female film directors and dissects the systemic discrimination that has denied women opportunities in Hollywood. Rather than address the sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood figures, it focuses on how women have continued to succeed despite facing hardships along the way.

"Half the Picture powerfully illustrates an important truth: Only half our stories are being told when women's voices are not included in the global conversation," said Jana Babatunde-Bey, president of WJSFF, in a statement. "When given the opportunity, women storytellers positively influence culture and create more inclusive societies by sharing their stories. WJSFF is committed to improving lives through the art of storytelling and proud to support Half the Picture."

The doc had its world premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival amid the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. To offer their expertise, prominent female filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, Lena Dunham, Catherine Hardwicke, Jill Soloway and many others make appearances throughout the film to discuss their early careers, how they transitioned to studio films or television and how they balance work and family life. 

First-time feature filmmaker Amy Adrion directed Half the Picture. She explained that her work is not only relevant but "needed to be told" in order to affirm to the next generation that change is plausible. 

Adrion explained: "When movement around the issue of women directors was gaining steam, I knew this was a story that needed to be told — these are my heroes, women who wouldn't take no for an answer, fighting powerful forces, making movies and shows I wanted to see. After many years of stagnation, it seemed the timing could finally be right for something to change. I had to be there."

“I’m so excited these generous donations will make this film accessible to our next generation of storytellers.  Half the Picture looks at the challenges women directors face but more importantly, it celebrates their work and cultural contributions, and I hope all young people who dream of making movies and creating art will be as inspired as I was in hearing these women’s stories,” added Adrion. 

The film has also screened at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival and 2018 Sundance Film Festival: London. In London, it received the Picturehouse #What Next Prize.

Half the Picture will be available to screen at the City Cinemas Village East in New York through Thursday, June 21 and at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles on Friday, June 22. Students can present a valid student identification card at the box office for free admission, tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis.