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“I want to impart to women that they should just be undaunted in the way they live their lives, not letting rejection get them down,” said Smith, director of the short “The Spleenectomy,” starring Anna Faris as a ditzy mom who takes an unexpected route to becoming an actress.
Moore’s “Streak,” starring Brittany Snow and Rumer Willis, likewise focused on overcoming obstacles by tenderly tackling female body image issues. Cox’s “The Monday Before Thanksgiving” rounded out the theme of empowerment with its tale of a woman who, distraught over the death of her mother, learns how to let go. Featuring a performance by Laura Dern, the movie’s optimism seemed to rub off on its star: “The time is here when there is no stigma about women directing,” Dern affirmed. “Make movies, make movies, make movies.”
— Jeremy Allen