While the #MeToo movement encouraged women to speak upon against the abuse of power in Hollywood, #TimesUp is working to shift who's in power all together. Here are some of the top female powerhouses carving out new spaces for themselves in the industry.
Akhavan is an Iranian-American director who was inspired by her girlfirend to take on Cameron Post, which won the highest honor at the festival, the Jury Grand Prize. The film centers around a teenage lesbian struggling to survive conversion therapy.
The future is coming and McNitt is taking us there. Her virtual reality experience Spheres brings viewers through the sensation of falling in a black hole. The project, narrated by Jessica Chastain and executive-produced by Darren Aronofsky, was bought by CityLights in a seven-figure deal, the first major VR acquisition in Sundance's history.
Colangelo won the Directing Award in the U.S. Dramatic category for her second feature at Sundance (her 2014 debut was Little Accidents). Her remake of anIsraeli film stars Maggie Gyllehaal playing a selfishly motivated mentor to a 5-year-old poetry prodigy. "I’m sick of women having to be so likable all the time. We’re nuanced creatures, like men. Men get to be antiheroes in cinema, and we should too," she told SlashFilm.
Elan Bogarin's magical realist documentary, in which she costarred and co-created with her brother, Jonathan, is an experimental gem that upheaves genres, mediums, and the expected. The Bogarins were named two of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2017. Together they own El Tigre productions, a bilingual strategy and production company that produces nonfiction films.
When you make a documentary of your life, people will think you're crazy. Unless your life is as interesting as the one M.I.A. has lived. A refugee who has used music to fight for the Tamil people facing genocide in her homeland Sri Lanka's civil war, she filmed much of the footage herself.
If any film has been getting attention, its Fox's potent autobiographically inspired drama The Tale. The movie, which stars Laura Dern questioning if she experienced sexual abuse as a child after reading a short story she wrote about it as girl, was sold to HBO Films in a $7 million deal.
You might recognize Kazan from this year's hit The Big Sick, but she has long established her writing chops. She cowrote the beloved drama Wildlife, which was directed by her boyfriend Paul Dano. The two had previously costarred in Ruby Sparks, which Kazan wrote and was directed by the team who brought Little Miss Sunshine to life.
Choe's first feature won the prestiguous Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. The piece focuses on a woman who is convinced she was kidnapped as a child and tries to persuade a couple whose daughter went missing decades ago that she's who they've been looking for.
Bombach won the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary this year, and owns the production company Red Reel, which was "born out the recession -- because if you can't get a job out of college, you might as well do exactly what you want to do." Her work is a testament to her attitude that "We do what we want, and we're not waiting for the 'right' conditions or permission to do it."
Though not in the competition, Agha is a woman to watch coming from Park City. She is a fellow in Sundance Ignite, a program that provides mentorship through Adobe and the festival for creators under 24. Agha's debut short, Birth Control Your Own Aventure, is a game-changing piece about her experience with endometriosis. After getting her into the elite program, it was picked up by The New York Times and has been viewed over 5 million times.
Who's advocating more for #Time'sUp than the women who make a documentary that follows the movement? These directors document the wild world of Gloria Allred, the lawyer who has helped women take down some of the most high-profile predators in court.
Kathryn Hahn fans, look out, because Jenkins has the cult favorite in a remarkable new role in Private Life. But she also penned the screenplay for the rom-com Juliet, Naked. Few creators can say they have above-the-line credits on two features at Sundance at once. But it should be no surprise that Jenkins is thriving; her past work includes Slums of Beverly Hills and The Savages.
Diallo's short film Hair Wolf, a feminist commentary on racism that has been compared to Get Out, scored the Grand Jury Prize for short film at Sudance. A Yale graduate, Diallo is an upcoming young filmmaker who had previously won the Fox Inclusion Emerging Artists Award.