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The Archer School for Girls hosted its seventh annual Archer Film Festival, empowering female filmmakers and featuring award-winning actress Laura Dern as the keynote speaker. Festival organizers received over 680 student-produced film submissions from 65 countries around the world. Celebrities, media, and the public viewed screenings of finalist films at The Writers Guild Theater in Culver City after a pink carpet reception. Event sponsors included The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Bad Robot Productions, CBS Entertainment Diversity, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and The Mark Gordon Company.

Three-time Golden Globe® winner and two-time Academy Award® nominee Laura Dern’s film credits include Jurassic Park, The Master, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, The Fault in Our Stars, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Her experiences in the industry have impelled her to become an outspoken advocate for women’s empowerment. Dern opened the event with a keynote and interview led by students from Archer’s Institute for Film and Video Literacy program.

The Archer Film Festival is a student-run and student-led event. “Our mission has always been to inspire and empower women in the entertainment industry, and Laura Dern’s unmitigated confidence – both onscreen and off – has made her a fantastic role model for girls everywhere,” Film Festival Leadership Board member and Archer junior Zoë Appelbaum-Schwartz said. “Regardless of the role she is portraying, Ms. Dern commands respect and admiration – a gift that can be attributed to her strength and expertise. Additionally, her advocacy for race and gender equality has made her a powerful force in the fight for change. We are very excited to feature such a bold and multi-talented actor in this year’s Film Festival.”

The second day of the Festival on Thursday, April 27 will be held on the Archer campus and feature three panels for its Industry Day. Panelists include producer-director Irwin Winkler (Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, De-Lovely), writer-director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right, Laurel Canyon, The L Word, Six Feet Under), and TriStar Productions President Hannah Minghella (Baby Driver, American Hustle, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, Skyfall). Panelists will address questions from students after discussing topics in filmmaking and their firsthand experiences related to women in film.

Nearly 20 years later, the gender gap remains unchanged. According to a 2017 report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women comprised 18% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents an increase of 1 percentage point from 17% in 2016 and is virtually unchanged from the percentage achieved in 1998. Only 11% of last year’s top grossing movies had a female director.

The Archer Film Festival strives to bridge that divide by empowering and highlighting young filmmakers who share the goal of increasing the number of women in the film and television industry, and to participate in the conversation about women’s representation onscreen. Throughout the development of the Festival, student filmmakers are given access to insider industry knowledge, further strengthening their foundation to effectively pursue careers in the field.

“The Archer Film Festival was created to encourage our student filmmakers, give them hands-on experience in the industry, and to help achieve gender parity in front of and behind the camera,” Head of School Elizabeth English said. “Archer students have run with this idea, making the Festival their own and bringing exposure and attention to a problem that affects the way young girls see themselves and their place in the world.”


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With a full slate of big-name projects, Laura Dern is kicking her steady four-decade-long career into high gear.

Laura Dern is busy. The quintessential second-generation Hollywood actor—the daughter of Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd—has been on a tear over the past two years: picking up an Emmy and a Golden Globe for HBO’s Big Little Lies, leading the Resistance as Vice Admiral Holdo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, reteaming with David Lynch for the return of Twin Peaks, racking up quirky features (The FounderWilson), making a cameo as a miniature sales rep in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, and setting her sights firmly on changing the imbalanced power structures of the town and industry she loves. This almost frenzied creative pace has led some pop culture writers to declare a “Dernaissance.” While pithy, the term isn’t quite right: In the 45 years since her first uncredited on-screen appearance, at age 6 in her mother’s film White Lightning, Dern has amassed one of the most consistently interesting bodies of work in Hollywood.

And she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In the pipeline are a second season of Big Little Lies (made even “bigger” by the addition of Meryl Streep), a new Noah Baumbach film, and JT LeRoy, in which she’ll star as struggling writer Laura Albert, who infamously created a male literary persona that hoodwinked the publishing industry. Plus, this month, HBO debuts her latest film, The Tale, which opened to rapturous praise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It’s an eerily prescient film for the #MeToo moment. Dern stars as a loosely fictionalized version of documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox, who must come to terms with the fact that she was abused at age 13 by her beloved track coach and horse-riding instructor—a relationship she had convinced herself for decades was consensual and romantic. It’s a twisty drama that plays with truth and lies and the stories we tell ourselves to get by.

Despite this nonstop schedule—today alone she will record audio for an upcoming film, attend a meeting with the Academy, and join in a Q&A about the Time’s Up movement—Dern exudes a breezy California vibe over lunch at a Beverly Hills restaurant. Imposingly tall, she’s dressed in salmon pants and a beaded black blazer and sports blackout sunglasses that she takes on and off throughout the meal. She hugs hello and is quick to show off her spot-on David Lynch impersonation. She’s proud of her iPhone wallpaper (a pug dressed as Twin Peaks’s Diane for Halloween) and is the kind of person who calls her asparagus and beet salad “miraculous” and means it. But she can also be deadly serious: about #MeToo, Time’s Up, and gun control, an issue in support of which she marched through the streets of LA three days earlier. It’s not hard to see why Star Wars chose her to lead the Resistance.

From the outside, the past year seems to have been monumental for you. Did it feel as major from the inside? 

Without doubt. One of the things that I think is so delicious is that it feels cumulative. To me, it’s about coming into my own. When I was younger, if there was a moment where I was particularly busy, the term was, “She’s hot.”

Did you feel like that phrasing diminished it somehow?

It’s unfortunate that it does imply the temporary nature of the actor’s career. But it also does not seem strategic or planned. And in a way, this is strategic and planned. I want to be ferocious in my choices more than ever, and I want to do everything. And I’m saying yes.

Check the full article in our press library and the beautiful photoshoot in our gallery.

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A couple of days ago Laura participated to the Press Conference of The Tale at Four Seasons Hotel. Take a look in the gallery for HQ pictures.

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Laura hosted the first dinner for Badass Women in West Hollywood, with Laura Brown (editor-in-chief of InStyle). Among participants also Laura’s co-star on Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman, Ellen Pompeo and Allison Janney, and also Laura’s daughter Jaya Harper.
Take a look at the pictures in our gallery!

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Yesterday represented an important moment in history with the March For Our Lives which took places in a lot of cities all over the world. Laura and her daughter participated to the Los Angeles march and here below you can find a few pictures.

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The gallery has been updated with over 100 HD screencaptures from Laura’s guest star in Drunk History, in which she played the role of Nellie Bly.

The U.S. reluctantly accepts the Statue of Liberty, Sybil Ludington goes on an epic ride to warn of a British attack, and journalist Nellie Bly infiltrates a corrupt mental institution.

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I went doing a little bit filling work and added missing pictures from 2017 events of Laura. Take a look!