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Women in Business

Why Diversity in Front of and Behind the Camera Is Important

Bruna Papandrea has produced movies and TV shows for more than 20 years. We asked her about the climate for women in the entertainment industry, and why it’s important for people of all identities and backgrounds to tell their stories.

What advice would you give to aspiring women in the entertainment field?

The advice I give to all women working in creative fields is to never let money be your first motivator, always listen to your creative instincts, and never be afraid to voice those instincts in any room.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in the industry?

I desperately wanted to be an actress or a writer, but got rejected from all applicable institutions — clearly it was not meant to be. I started working for a creative commercial producer, but my biggest break came when I met Anthony Minghella in London. 

Why do you feel it’s important to have diversity represented in the writing and directing aspect of entertainment?

It’s incredibly important to have diversity in front of and behind the camera. The stories we tell should reflect the world that we live in and those diverse perspectives.

What improvements do you think the entertainment industry needs to make for women? And where have you already seen improvements?

I’ve definitely seen improvements in episodic television. The numbers are really shifting in terms of directors, but the discussion is a much bigger cultural conversation about empowering young women to feel like they can tell the stories they want to. We also need to really look at finding financial parity for below-the-line women in the entertainment business.

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