I am so proud and excited to post this link to the presentations 5 of my Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting students made at this year’s Citizen Jane Film Festival. The event was titled: When Women Ran Hollywood: Meet 5 Female Screenwriters Who Helped Invent Hollywood. My students gave tight, ten minute presentations on female screenwriters who we should all know – women like Anita Loos and Adela Rogers St. Johns – whose biographies I had read as a child in Cleveland – and women like Frances Goodrich Hackett, who I hadn’t heard of until I began my own PhD dissertation – and finally Eve Unsell and Jeanie MacPherson.
Rather than be new names to most all of you we ought to recognize these women’s names – and accomplishments – much as we instantly recognize the names of the male directors of early Hollywood. Sadly, historians frequently left the women’s names out of the books so this course and this assignment are an exercise in bringing Anita, Adela, Frances, Eve and Jeanie back into the mainstream conversation about the art – and history – of screenwriting.
The students I have to thank for researching, writing and presenting on these women – and then trekking out to Columbia, Missouri (home of Stephens College) to share their findings with the larger community of scholars – are Toni Anita Hull, Amelia Phillips, Laura Kirk, Sarah Whorton and Julie Berkobien.
Watch and learn – and fall in love with all 10 of these women all over again – or for the first time.
The Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting is proud to present five of our fabulous MFA students who will in turn introduce the audience to five female screenwriters whose work we know, but whose names have been left out of the textbooks. Help us write them back in and remind us all that Women Ran Hollywood once and are on their way to doing it again!
- Rosanne Welch, Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting Professor
- Toni Anita Hull, Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting Candidate
- Amelia Phillips, Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting Candidate
- Laura Kirk, Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting Candidate
- Sarah Whorton, Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting Candidate
- Julie Berkobien, Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting Candidate