Blog Home

Editorial Spotlight: Nancy Savoca

In celebration of Women's History Month, director and producer, Nancy Savoca, shares her experience in Hollywood
March 23, 2021

Guest Author

By: Guest Contributor Nancy Savoca

What does it mean to me to be a woman working in entertainment?

It’s been a privilege and an honor to work in entertainment for the past 30+ years. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given and I’m grateful to still be here and excited about new projects. Having said this, I’m keenly aware that there has been - and still remains - a great disparity in our industry. When I first started, I saw it but felt that the best way to deal with it was to just show up and do the best work I had in me. But over the years, I’ve realized that these problems have never been about merit. It’s about a form of tribalism, a prejudice folks have that has made them gravitate towards people who are like them, or who fit the description of what they think a filmmaker should look like. On the one hand, that’s very human, but on the other hand, it has made the industry blind to the talent that exists outside their comfort zone. So, my doing the best I could over all these years didn’t solve the larger problem of bias in our industry. We need to remedy this at a systemic level. And it appears that many people are starting to feel the same way. That’s why I’m very excited to be here at this time.

How does having women behind the lens and making stories change Hollywood, or change the culture?

I appreciate that this is Women’s History Month but I must say that, as a woman, I cannot separate women from filmmakers of color (especially since half of people of color are women ☺) or filmmakers who are LGBTQ. I think having all kinds of people telling stories absolutely changes Hollywood for the better. I grew up knowing a lot about what makes a (white, straight, American) male tick. I often put myself in the place of those anti-heroes of the 60's and 70's films that I love. I identified with them. Go figure? I was a girl! And yet their qualities were universal. I think it’s cinema’s greatest gift to allow us to become others. Like this year, I watched Judas and the Black Messiah or The Assistant or The Half of It and I became Fred and Jane and Ellie. It’s amazing.

How has the experience of a being a woman in Hollywood changed since I got my start?

There were fewer women filmmakers when I started. Although I loved the films of Shirley Clarke and Agnes Varda and Maria Luisa Bemberg, I had a much longer list of favorite male directors, only because there were so many more of them. And let’s face it, no one at film school in the 80's was teaching us about women filmmakers and other filmmakers of color who were pioneers in early film history. They were our predecessors. That would have been inspiring! But I do feel there’s a shift towards inclusiveness right now. And, although I’ve seen this before in starts and stops, I feel there’s a deeper commitment this time around.

I’m excited for all of us!

Topic: Spotlight

Related Content

Editorial Spotlight: Dana Belcastro

Producer and executive, Dana Belcastro, on how women are changing the way Hollywood does business
Topic: Spotlight
Celebrating Pride Month Panel

Celebrating Pride Month and LGBTQ+ Film and Television

Celebrate Pride month with us as our panel of groundbreaking producers and activists discuss the past,...

Diversifying Hollywood Through Better Hiring and Training

How new legislation and production incentives are promoting diversity and inclusion

The Path to Better Diversity and Inclusion in Hollywood

How production incentives are helping to promote inclusivity
Pantea Ahmadi and Joe Scudiero

SB 973's Impact on the Entertainment Industry

How California’s new pay data reporting legislation, SB 973, applys to the entertainment industry
Topic: Legal

Spotlight: Martin Mazor, SVP, Infrastructure & Security

Meet the industry-veteran leading EP's dedicated security team
Christine Davila, Jairo Alvarado, Sonia Gambaro

Authentic Latinx Storytelling Starts with Inclusion

Christine Dávila, Jairo Alvarado, and Sonia Gambaro work to amplify the talents of underrepresented...

Streamers and the Changing Landscape of Film Distribution

Director/Producer Daniel Farrands on strategies for success in the time of VOD

Meet the Paymasters

The hard-working payroll professionals behind Hollywood's paychecks

‘No Straight Lines’ & ‘Firstness’ Among Top Winners At Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival – Complete Winners List

Outfest has announced the award winners of its 2021 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival.
Equity Financing Panel-thumbnail

Film Financing Explained: Equity Financing

James Schamus and Michael Helfant join our panel to share expert advice on funding film and television...

The Beginner’s Guide to Equity Financing

Expert advice to help producers secure funding for their next project
Anthony De La Rosa EP Residuals

The Beginner's Guide to Film and Television Residuals

Important details every producer should know as they budget for their next project

Meet the Producer

From concept to the red carpet, the producer is there to keep the production moving forward
Sarah Westman-liu and Jennifer Liscio

Canadian Incentives and Legislation News

The latest updates on incentives, CRA guidance on COVID-19 related costs, and more!

Choosing the Right Production Incentives

5 questions to ask when selecting your next incentive-based filming location

Innovations in Production Incentives

How emerging local initiatives are driving productions to new jurisdictions

Spotlight: Joseph Chianese, Film Production Incentives Expert

Meet the SVP and Practice Leader of Production Incentives at EP

The Beginner's Guide to Production Financing

What to know before starting your next film or television project

Women Impacting Hollywood

From Storytelling to Set Design, Female Voices are Shaping Entertainment

Diversity and Pay Reporting in California

Your guide to understanding SB 973 and its application to the entertainment industry

SB 973, California Pay Data Reporting Law FAQs

The new pay data reporting law and its impact on the entertainment industry

Returning to Production: Hair and Makeup Teams Apply COVID-19 Protocols to Life on Set

Getting back to work: a look inside set life during COVID-19
EP Board Member Ken Coleman

Spotlight: Ken Coleman

Meet Entertainment Partners Board Member Ken Coleman

Spotlight: Davida Lara, Executive Vice President, Payroll Services

Meet the dynamic leader who challenges what it means to be in payroll

Spotlight: Becky Harshberger, VP & Practice Leader of Payroll Tax

Meet the entertainment industry’s foremost expert on Payroll Tax

How Television Crews Are Getting Back to Work

A Conversation with Melissa Lintinger, SVP of Production Finance, NBCU
Master Series Return to Work Agreement Panel

Understanding the COVID-19 Return-To-Work Labor Agreement

EP's Legal experts explain the entertainment industry's safety guidelines
Pressing Play in Eastern Canada Panel

Pressing Play in Canada: From Nunavut to Nova Scotia, Production Returns to the Eastern Provinces!

Producers from across Eastern Canada come together to discuss the exciting work coming out of the...
Nordic Countries Lead Production Return from COVID-19 panel

From Domestic TV to Mission Impossible 7: Nordic Countries Lead Production Return from COVID-19

Lessons learned about producing through a pandemic, and how the Nordic countries got it right

Film Tax Credit Programs Face Uncertain Future

Tax incentive programs draw high profile productions, cautious optimism for California
Subscribe now

Be an industry insider with EP's
newsletters and alerts

LegalPrivacy NoticeSecurity