New Disney initiative supports female filmmakers

Women have a story to tell, and this new Disney initiative is showcasing just that.

According to Variety, Disney’s new “Dream Big Princess” project has “has selected 21 girls and women from 13 countries to develop digital short films about women who inspire them.”

In addition to giving female filmmakers the opportunity to tell stories about the influential women in their lives that work in industries ranging from entertainment and sports to government and science, Variety also says that they will participate in professional workshops that include a “training session with Apple technical experts, mentorship from the female-led production company Summerjax, and meetings with Disney film veterans.”

All shot on iPhone X cameras, each filmmaker’s project will be shared on Disney social media starting on Oct. 10, says Variety, and with each like and share of the films with the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess, Disney will donate $1 to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, which empowers and positions girls all over the world to be leaders.

One of the film’s subjects, Disney CCO Jennifer Lee, who Variety says won an animated feature Oscar for “Frozen,” says the Dream Big Princess initiative serves as an extension of Disney’s mission to inspire kids.

“Using the journeys of characters like Anna, Elsa and Moana to inspire kids to dream big is at the very heart of what all of us at Disney do,” Lee said, according to Variety. “The #DreamBigPrincess series is the perfect extension of that vision, providing a powerful platform for the next generation of aspiring filmmakers to create content about the women who have inspired them.”

Smith donates film residuals to Women in Film

After accusations of sexual misconduct have surfaced against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, some are trying to distance themselves from the exposed film executive.

Take Kevin Smith, for example. According to HuffPost, the filmmaker — who earned his place in Hollywood after his low-budget Indie film “Clerks” was picked up by Weinstein in the 1990s — is donating the future residuals he earns from his Weinstein-linked films to Women in Film, an organization that “advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries.”

HuffPost reports that Smith tweeted his feelings before making the announcement on his podcast, Hollywood Babble-on, sharing that he was “‘ashamed’ to be profiting from his relationship with the producer while ‘others were in terrible pain.'”

On his podcast, HuffPost says the filmmaker expanded on his thought process this way:

“My entire career is tied up with the man,” he said. “It’s been a weird fucking week. I just wanted to make some fucking movies, that’s it. That’s why I came, that’s why I made ‘Clerks.’ And no fucking movie is worth all this. Like, my entire career, fuck it, take it. It’s wrapped up in something really fucking horrible.”

Explaining that he is not looking for sympathy, HuffPost says Smith went on to explain that he feels a sense of responsibility in building up the clout of Weinstein, offering that he often spoke of Weinstein as a “friend” and even a “hero” because he “changed [his] fucking life.”

While it is clear that Smith is still trying to come to terms with the situation, he is certainly trying his best to make up for the years of support he provided to Weinstein; in fact, HuffPost shared that Smith “pledged to donate $2,000 to Women in Film every month for the rest of his life” in addition to donating his residuals.