In December 2009, Melissa Silverstein and Kathryn Kolbert attended an event with filmmaker Jane Campion, the director and writer of “The Piano,” and “Bright Star.” Campion is one of four women ever to be nominated for an Academy Award in directing, and there was buzz that she might be nominated again in 2010. But the mood in the room wasn’t always celebratory.

“We heard women directors lament what was going on in the film business for them,” Silverstein remembers. The same month, New York Times critic Manohla Dargis published an article pointing out that, of the 600 films reviewed by her paper that year, only 10 percent had been directed by women and only a handful of women directors that year had been backed by a major Hollywood studio.

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