After making a name for herself as a director of films like last year's "Jean of the Joneses," Stella Meghie has a slate of projects, including the upcoming "Everything, Everything," and script deals with BET and VH1, but acknowledges that her story is not typical for women and minorities in Hollywood. "There's a conversation that's happening right now that is helpful," said Meghie. "But things are [only] going to change when projects like ['Everything, Everything'] are made and they hire more women and minorities to direct and write. Otherwise, it'll be up to us, like I did with 'Jean,' to do it for ourselves."
Deadline profiles some of the women behind projects that could help shift the gender balance in Hollywood this year, including "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins, who is the first woman to direct a superhero film with a woman in the lead role; and Dee Rees, director of the WWII drama "Mudbound," which was just acquired by Netflix for $12.5 million and featured women in almost every major role behind the camera. "Until there's a resilient, consistent critical mass of women creators and producers with greenlight authority, the industry will continue to struggle to produce so-called female-driven vehicles," Rees said.
Comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres is working with Netflix on the animated children's series "Green Eggs and Ham," which she is executive producing and is expected to premiere next year. DeGeneres also announced plans to film a stand-up special for Netflix, her first such special in 15 years.
A new nonprofit fundraising app, WeCanResist.it, uses President Donald Trump's Twitter posts as a vehicle to boost charitable giving. Users can automatically donate to various nonprofits of their choice whenever Trump tweets, and they can set a monthly maximum amount.
Oxfam America is driving its "Famine Food Truck" around Washington, D.C., this week in an effort raise money and awareness for the 20 million people starving in Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan. "President Trump's budget proposal is immoral, short-sighted, and un-American," said Oxfam America's Paul O'Brien.
Artists Space, a nonprofit art gallery in New York City, has found a new location in TriBeCa after being ousted from its original headquarters in SoHo last June. Negar Azimi and Steven Schindler, the nonprofit's board presidents, praised the new location, saying that it is "perfect for Artists Space logistically, historically and symbolically, offering us good architectural bones, great location and a deepened presence in downtown New York that we know the arts community longs for us to have."
The Burbank, Calif., City Council is planning to allocate $876,707 from Community Development Block Grant funding to local nonprofits and city departments despite concerns that funding could be further cut or even eliminated under President Donald Trump's proposed budget. Local nonprofits, including the YMCA, Salvation Army and Boys & Girls Club, will receive funding for various projects.
Focus Features is hoping to revamp its reputation as a supporter of independent filmmakers with a sneak peek at the company's 2017 roster of films featuring female directors and actors. "Atomic Blonde," an action thriller starring Charlize Theron; the historical biopic "Victoria and Abdul," starring Judi Dench; and "Mary Magdalene," starring Rooney Mara, were all previewed, while three films from female directors -- Niki Caro's "The Zookeeper's Wife," Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled" and Julia Ducournau's "Raw" -- will also be released this year.
Government requests to Apple for user data for national security purposes jumped from between 2,750 and 2,999 in the first half of 2016 to between 5,750 and 5,999 in the second half, according to Apple's latest transparency report. The company also received 30,184 requests for technical information on devices from global law enforcement agencies.
During a busy day on Capitol Hill where three senior intelligence officials testified Tuesday in front of panels investigating Russia's potential involvement with the 2016 election, former CIA Director John Brennan said he was "concerned" about intelligence he had seen about Trump campaign associates interacting with Russian officials. Republicans pressed Brennan on whether he had evidence of collusion, but Brennan said the CIA passes intelligence on to the FBI rather than determining if evidence exists.
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