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Olivia Wilde on funding for female-led films

Olivia Wilde is the latest celebrity to join in the gender debate declaring frustration at how hard it is to secure funding for female filmmakers.

Olivia Wilde on funding for female-led films

Following a string of Hollywood actors who have voiced their frustration at the persisting industry-related gender gap, Olivia Wilde has now joined the debate.

Speaking at a recent press-event for the AFI festival, Wilde admitted she was appalled at the experience she went through to make her most recent film. Recounting the efforts she had to go through in order to secure funding for a female-led production, the actress said she experienced unexpected difficulties.

Olivia Wilde’s latest film, “Meadowland,” is a female-directed and produced film that also happens to be starring – a female. The independent film was apparently impossible to fund until the producers were able to secure a second lead, actor Owen Wilson.

“Morano is just a rock star in the [film] world, so I thought it’d be a breeze,” Wilde said. “If I were investing in films, I’d want to invest in a director who’s worked on all these films, and really knew her way around on a set.

Saoirse Ronan, left, Blythe Danner, Jason Segel, Olivia Wilde, Lily Tomlin, Ramin Bahrani and Sarah Silverman (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Saoirse Ronan, left, Blythe Danner, Jason Segel, Olivia Wilde, Lily Tomlin, Ramin Bahrani and Sarah Silverman (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

“It was hard not to assume it had something to do with gender: we were [making a] female-directed, female-produced story about a female.”

Whilst the actress has considerably more screen time than Wilson and is penned as the lead, she was astonished to realise that what people had told her about funding discrimination, was in fact true.

“At the time I heard this shocking story that when Julianne Moore was getting Still Alice put together, she said: ‘Don’t bother going out for financing until you hire the male lead’,” Wilde added. “I was shocked by that. I thought: that’s Julianne Moore! I thought, if she’s having that struggle, maybe that explains what we’re going through here.”

Whilst the funding eventually arrived, following the signing of Wilson, she noted that her experience was “a real education in indie film financing.

“I hope that because we made such a beautiful film, that it will encourage financiers to take that risk with a little less drama.”

 

 

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