This is fantastic news, to say the least: Australian actress Rose Byrne has launched her own production company, alongside actress and director Gracie Otto, director Shannon Murphy, actress and writer Krew Boylan, and director Jessica Carrera. This is awesome news on its own, considering Rose Byrne is an amazing force in Hollywood, but get ready for the news to get even better: The company will be run entirely be females, which, as many likely know, is not something that happensin Hollywood ever. It will be called the Dollhouse Collective, which is a pretty cool Whedonesque name if you ask me.
The Australia-based group, which can be found at the-dollhouse.com, has posted their bold mission statement:
We came together under one roof. Five filmmakers committed to exploring the creative boundaries of film, TV and theatre. We champion change, we value relationships, we advocate artistic collaborations. We are risk takers, friends, and passionate story tellers. Welcome to the Dollhouse Collective.
They already have a few projects lined up, including the short feature When All The Water, which is directed by Murphy and produced by Carrera. Another, Seriously Red, directed by Boylan and produced by Byrne, is about a woman obsessed with Dolly Parton. Girls In Hotels, which remains mysterious but is based on the premise that "any girl in any hotel room at any time of the day is interesting," is written, produced, directed, and edited by Otto, and produced by Carrera.
This is not the only all-female production company of its kind, though they obviously exist to counteract the all-male companies that have been a given for so many years. Byrne joins the ranks of other female actresses who have used their clout to promote women in screenwriting, producing, and directing. Meryl Streep, for instance, recently funded a screenwriting lab for women over 40, Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea founded Pacific Standard — a production company devoted to telling the stories of women that have already been behind such successful releases as Wild and Gone Girl — and Lena Dunham has teamed up with HBO to launch A Casual Romance, a production company based on advancing female careers, as well as stories that challenge gender and sexual norms. Additionally, Will Ferrell has also helped launched a female-driven company called Gloria Sanchez Films.
Since most of these companies, especially Dollhouse Collective at this moment in time, seem a little insular, I hope they can collaborate with women at all stages of the process, and work with new female talents in addition to established industry professionals. Endeavors like this in Hollywood are such important work — and since most of the companies are fairly young, I look forward to seeing the results on screens in years to come.