Virtual Book Talk: The Value Gap: Female-Driven Films from Pitch to Premiere

Dr. Courtney Brannon Donoghue

The Value Gap: Female-Driven Films from Pitch to Premiere, A Virtual Book Talk with Dr. Courtney Brannon Donoghue (Assistant Professor, University of Northern Texas)

Moderated by Film & Electronic Arts Assistant Professor of Production Management, Sharri Hefner 

Thursday November 30th 5:30PM - 7PM
In Person & Virtual: Horn Center Room 106 
Zoom Meeting ID: 815 7806 8317
Zoom Meeting Link


How female directors, producers, and writers navigate the challenges and barriers facing female-driven projects at each stage of filmmaking in contemporary Hollywood.

The Value Gap, Female-Driven Films from Pitch to Premiere by Dr. Courtney Brannon Donoghue

Conversations about gender equity in the workplace accelerated in the 2010s, with debates inside Hollywood specifically pointing to broader systemic problems of employment disparities and exploitative labor practices. Compounded by the devastating #MeToo revelations, these problems led to a wide-scale call for change. The Value Gap traces female-driven filmmaking across development, financing, production, film festivals, marketing, and distribution, examining the realities facing women working in the industry during this transformative moment. Drawing from five years of extensive interviews with female producers, writers, and directors at different stages of their careers, Courtney Brannon Donoghue examines how Hollywood business cultures “value" female-driven projects as risky or not bankable. Industry claims that “movies targeting female audiences don't make money" or “women can't direct big-budget blockbusters" have long circulated to rationalize systemic gender inequities and have served to normalize studios prioritizing the white male–driven status quo. Through a critical media industry studies lens, The Value Gap challenges this pervasive logic with firsthand accounts of women actively navigating the male-dominated and conglomerate-owned industrial landscape.