Actress and Producer Maggie Gyllenhaal Partners With Autograph Collection Hotels to Empower Emerging Female Screenwriters

(PRNewsfoto/Marriott International, Inc.)

From the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival®, Autograph Collection Hotels recently announced that Academy Award and Emmy-nominated, Golden Globe award-winning actress and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal as Independent Film Advisor to the brand’s Indie Film Project. The multi-faceted platform is designed to support the art of storytelling by spotlighting today’s most-talented screenwriters, filmmakers and distributors working in independent film.

Throughout her career, Maggie Gyllenhaal has worked on many independent films, from her breakout role in the 2002 romantic comedy drama, Secretary to Crazy Heart, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 2010. She currently stars in The Deuce (HBO). She produced and starred in The Kindergarten Teacher (Netflix), which received the Directing Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will make its Canadian debut at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

In her role, Gyllenhaal has evolved the Indie Film Project’s Screenwriters in Residence program in which screenwriters, who share Autograph Collection Hotels‘ ethos of individuality and an independent spirit, are selected to take residence at the brand’s hotels around the world. Gyllenhaal was personally inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famed feminist 1929 essay “A Room of One’s Own,” which argues the importance of literal and figurative space that women writers need within a literary tradition dominated by men, stating: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Its message of refuge evokes the same sentiment that the brand’s Screenwriters in Residence program aims to give emerging screenwriters.

“I think the words of Virginia Woolf – written almost 90 years ago – still ring true,” said Maggie Gyllenhaal. “We are at a moment, culturally, when people are hungry for stories that are emotionally true, rooted in diversity; and reflective of different voices. I am proud to support emerging female screenwriters in independent film, which has always been a place you can tell stories in an honest and authentic way.”

Three Selected Female Screenwriters Given Room to Write

Gyllenhaal selected three powerful female screenwriters from Hollywood’s buzzed-about Black List – which curates the industry’s most liked yet un-produced screenplays – to spend a week at an Autograph Collection hotel of their choice, offering an inspiring space, time and unrivaled hospitality to polish an existing script or develop new material.

  • Diversity and inclusion are themes of Sarah Jane Inwards‘ script, Jellyfish Summer, which won a 2017 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and earned a spot on the 2017 Black List. Originally from Minnesota and based in Los Angeles, Inwards also co-founded Applause for a Cause, a nonprofit production company in support of student feature filmmaking.
  • Amanda Idoko is a Los Angeles-based film and television writer, currently writing on Central Park, an animated musical for Apple. She has previously written for ABC TV’s Imaginary MaryThe Goldbergs, and The Mayor. Amanda was featured on the 2017 Young & Hungry List for Hollywood’s Top 100 New Writers and her script Breaking News In Yuba County was featured on the 2017 Black List. Amanda is a first-generation Nigerian American who grew up in the Bronx, and a graduate of Cornell University.
  • USC graduate Chiara Towne has written screenplays for Tanya Seghatchian (an executive producer of The Crown) and director David Fincher. She directs documentaries as well as short content for nonprofit organizations, doing much of her work for Jesse Dylan’s Wondros and consulting at the United Nations.  She is also associated with Somewhere Films, a production collective made up of women who specialize in directing, cinematography, editing, producing, writing and creative direction. Her most recent screenplay V.I.N. was featured on the 2017 Black List.

Partnership Designs Retreats to Spark Inspiration for Creative Storytelling

Autograph Collection Hotels in partnership with the Black List continues to design these unique retreats to spark inspiration for creative storytelling, whether at Hotel am Steinplatz in Berlin or El Mangroove in Costa Rica. Last year, the two brands chose screenwriters including Liz Hannah, who wrote the Oscar-nominated film The Post; Minhal Baig, April Prosser and Christopher Salmanpour for the inaugural program. Hannah, Baig and Prosser have all previously graced the annual Black List; Baig and Salmanpour’s careers were both catalyzed after uploading their screenplays to the Black List website, which serves as a two-sided marketplace for scripted material available to actors, directors, producers, and film financiers. Watch their experiences HERE.

Visit Autograph Collection Hotels’ Indie Film Project for more information.

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Andrea Karen Hammer, a Philadelphia-based freelance writer, is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Media Group. As CEO, she leads the operation and innovation at Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center, Artsphoria International Magazine (https://www.artsphoria.com) and Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (https://artsphoria.live).