- VENICE, Calif.
Director Lauren Greenfield--nominated for DGA Awards on the strength of her documentary and commercialmaking (the groundbreaking #LikeAGirl campaign for P&G/Always)--has launched, along with her producing partner Frank Evers, Girl Culture Films, a production company that represents leading directors for commercial projects and branded content opportunities. The new venture is designed to amplify female and diverse voices in the advertising world.
Girl Culture Films will also develop non-fiction and fiction film and TV projects across all platforms. Greenfield is the founder and creative director while Evers is co-founder and president of the company.
Girl Culture Films’ roster features directors spanning narrative, documentary, comedy, action film and series fare. Represented filmmakers include Catherine Hardwicke (Miss Bala, Twilight, Thirteen), Karyn Kusama (Destroyer, Girlfight), Amy Berg (West of Memphis), Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear), Marina Zenovich (Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind), Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing (One Of Us), Yance Ford (Strong Island), Lana Wilson (The Departure), and Nonny de la Pena (a VR pioneer known for her work in immersive journalism). Greenfield continues to be handled for spots and branded content by her longstanding home, Chelsea Pictures.
Additionally, creative leaders from advertising, brands, entertainment and finance have joined the Girl Culture Films’ advisory board, including Judy John of Leo Burnett, Margaret Johnson of Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Jennifer Golub of MAL\FOR GOOD, who are all top female chief creative officers in the agency sector. Also serving on the Girl Culture Films’ advisory board are: Pete Favat, CCO, Deutsch, North America; Matthew Greenfield, president of production, Fox Searchlight; Jeffrey Tarrant, chairman, Protégé Partners & Solaire Films; Christy Schnabel of Amstel Capital; and Lisa Mehling, founder, Chelsea Pictures.
“After the experience of the #LikeAGirl campaign, I started Girl Culture Films to ensure that women have a bigger voice in the cultural conversation--in which advertising is a driving force,” said Greenfield. “I knew it was crucial to appeal to audiences through storytelling, so our roster is comprised of incredible directors with varied styles that can better connect the brands’ narrative to the consumer. These filmmakers can engage diverse audiences in an authentic way that captures an inclusive human experience and become the change makers for more representation across all screens.”
“I’ve been a passionate follower of Lauren’s photography starting with her books “Fast Forward” and “Girl Culture”--which were companions/inspirations for my first film Thirteen,” said Hardwicke. “Lauren segued from fearless photographer into a brilliant filmmaker and her insight and intuition are the reasons #LikeAGirl resonates with so many people, especially women. “With Girl Culture Films, Lauren is creating a commercial culture that allows us to tell the stories that engage, thrill and impact the audience and connect them on a different level with brands. I’m excited to be part of this revolution.”
Greenfield found critical marketing insights useful in developing the focus for the company and establishing a premier advisory board. Notably, she pointed to Harvard Business School reports stating that 86% of global consumer decisions are made by women while comparing it to Annenberg research that shows fewer than 8% of commercials are directed by women.
“The reality is the majority of brand campaign directors are men, despite women’s purchase power,” said Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ Johnson. “There is clearly a void to be filled and new voices to be heard. I look forward to partnering with Lauren and Girl Culture filmmakers to increase opportunity for women directors. It is the right thing to do at this time for our industry, consumers and brands.”
Greenfield is considered a preeminent chronicler of gender, consumerism, and youth culture as a result of her groundbreaking films Generation Wealth, The Queen of Versailles, Thin and Kids+Money, and her photography books, “Fast Forward,” “Girl Culture,” “Thin” and “Generation Wealth.” The Queen of Versailles won her the Best Documentary Director Award at Sundance and was named by Vogue as one of the top documentaries of all time. Generation Wealth opened Sundance last year, was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Best Documentary Screenplay, and launches on Amazon Prime on February 1. Greenfield’s campaign #LikeAGirl went viral, sweeping commercial awards including 14 Cannes Lions, 7 Clios, and being named by YouTube as one of the top “Ads of the Decade.” #LikeAGirl is also an AICP Show honoree and part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
Greenfield’s alluded to DGA Award nomination in the feature documentary arena came in 2013 for The Queen of Versailles, which tells the story of a couple losing their home amid the mortgage meltdown crisis—except in this story the residence is a 90,000 square foot mansion inspired by the extravagances of France’s Palace of Versailles, and the beleaguered couple consists of Florida time-share condominium entrepreneur David Siegel and his wife, Jackie. When the real estate bubble burst, the Siegels took a hard fall from their world of extreme wealth and privilege.
Two years later in 2015, Greenfield landed a DGA nod in the commercials competition for #LikeAGirl. This was an historic accomplishment as it made Greenfield the first solo woman director to garner a DGA nomination in the commercials category. Up until then the only female DGA commercial nominees were half of directorial duos (Amy Hill of Riess/Hill, and Katina Mercadante of The Mercadantes).