Founder, Women & Hollywood
Melissa Silverstein is a writer and speaker with an extensive expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and entertainment. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender diversity in Hollywood and the global film industry, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017.
She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival — Celebrating Courageous and Audacious Women Leaders — at Barnard College in NYC. The 8th annual festival took place in February 2018.
In 2016, Melissa received the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award from the Ms. Foundation for Women. In 2015, she was selected to be a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, the major film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State. In 2013, she published the first book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site.
She has written for The Washington Post, NY Times, The Guardian, Forbes, More Magazine and has been featured on CNN, the BBC as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NY Times, and many other publications. She was a contributor to The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thriller of Our Time.
Women and Hollywood was named one of the top 100 websites for women by ForbesWoman in 2013, 2012 and 2011. In 2011, Melissa was named one of the Top 100 Arts tweeters by the Times of London, and in 2010, she was named one of 10 film critics to follow on twitter by Flavorwire. In 2008, Women and Hollywood was named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch,” and in 2009, it was named “Best Hollywood blog” by totalfilm.com.
Melissa has experience working on social media marketing campaigns and events for a variety of films including: Lady Bird, My Week With Marilyn, The Iron Lady, Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words, Bright Star, Revolutionary Road, Bend it Like Beckham, and The Hours. Previous experience includes work on high profile public education campaigns such as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and she was the founding project director for The White House Project. Prior to that was the Chief of Staff at the Ms. Foundation for Women.
In 2013, she was one of the recipients of the Susan B. Anthony Award from the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women.