Women and Hollywood Founder Melissa Silverstein is launching a weekly podcast centered around interviews with female creatives and will no longer be publishing original stories on the Women and Hollywood blog she founded more than 15 years ago.
The 30 minute podcast is called In her voicebuilding on Silverstein’s book of the same name about women directors, and will be available everywhere people find their podcasts.
The title of the podcast, Silverstein says The Hollywood Reporteralso reflects her sense that the podcast isn’t about her, it’s about highlighting women in the industry.
“This is about female creatives in the industry, making sure people know their contributions and letting the world know we need to keep going,” says Silverstein. “We can’t take our foot off the pedal because we don’t want to go back.”
The bulk of the podcast will be “conversation with one or more female creatives,” perhaps with roundtables related to festivals or during awards season, Silverstein says, but she’ll also do a 10-minute news update and preview of upcoming content she looks forward to.
While the Women and Hollywood blog will no longer publish original content, the site will remain live as a resource for those seeking information about women in the industry, and the Women and Hollywood newsletter will continue to exist.
With this transition, Silverstein notes that editor-in-chief Laura Berger will be leaving for the time being Girls Club Community Manager Sophie Willard, who does the weekly newsletter, continues.
Silverstein tells THR that her shift from daily blog updates to a podcast was due to her appreciation for the format, acknowledgment that she feels she is particularly good at interviewing female creatives, and the realization that “blogging is kind of on the wane” .
“As a podcast addict, I feel like that’s a medium that a lot of people are spending more and more time on, and I feel like that’s really beneficial for me personally because I’ve always loved doing interviews with people “, she says. “And when I started this work, I talked to a lot of women filmmakers and as the work grew, I got fewer and fewer opportunities to do that. And when I get to the Athens Film Festival and being able to talk to people, I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, I really like doing this.’ So it makes sense to transition to podcasting as we can still send all the information to people, talk to the creatives and make sure we can continue to amplify their voices.
Silverstein also says she feels the “conversation” around women in the entertainment industry has “changed.”
“I’m honored to have been a part of changing that conversation,” she says. “But it’s also time for other people to take it to another level.”
She adds, “I felt like I didn’t have to do the same kind of incitement that I did in the beginning because everyone knows there’s a problem, and when I first started no one paid attention. I didn’t understand, no one understood. We never really thought about the fact that women don’t direct big budget movies. … And then as we started noticing things, social media happened, and we were all talking to each other, and it became a bigger problem. Now it’s so embedded in the culture that if you don’t have women or people of color, it gets noticed. You can no longer just skate past.”
Silverstein is also launching the Creative Doula program, which advocates for women-centric projects written by women or non-binary writers, in an effort to be a part of the change she wants to see.
“The Creative Doula program is my idea of how I can help filmmakers take their scripts to another level,” she says. “So it’s about taking things into more advanced development, finding producers to work with these projects, putting budgets in place. … How do we make sure people in the industry are aware of this?”
While the podcast is separate from Silverstein’s work as artistic director of Athena, she notes that her “creative development work” with the female leadership-focused film festival has inspired this shift.
“I’ve been talking about the problem for 15 years and now I have the opportunity to be part of the solution and I wanted to take advantage of that,” says Silverstein.
View the art for the In her voice podcast below.