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Getting money for a first film is difficult, said Eliza Hittman, who made her debut "It Felt Like Love" (playing in the Next program) on a shoestring. "There’s not a lot of people who are going to get behind your first project."
For Utah’s own Jerusha Hess, making her directing debut at Sundance with the comedy "Austenland," it helped to have the right woman in her corner: Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, who was the film’s producer. "She’s a name with money symbols beside it," Hess said.
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Another way to foster women filmmakers is mentoring, said writer-director Lynn Shelton, who premiered her latest film, "Touchy Feely," at Sundance.
Female students have to be encouraged, Shelton said, "to say, ‘No, I do have a voice, and what I say is important.’ "
Shelton and Bell said are looking forward to a day when no one makes a big deal about how many women filmmakers there are at Sundance.
"Sundance this year is kind of a ladies club," Bell said. "But both genders are very excited to be here."
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