TOLUCA LAKE, Calif. – Actress/producer Sheila Hart is not just premiering her medieval fantasy-themed “Journey to Abaddon” at the Cannes International Film Festival this month. She hopes to start a revolution with it.
“With women making up only a fraction of directors working in Hollywood today, I want to raise awareness and encourage the industry to include more women when it comes to directing and producing films,” Hart said.
Herself an actress in such films as “Half of Something Else,” and “Not a Date,” and others, Hart hopes her new short film “Journey to Abaddon” will raise awareness of the issue and help bring about change to a mostly male dominated industry. The Cannes International Film Festival runs from May 14 to 25.
“Journey to Abaddon” is a story set in the Dark Ages where a young woman named Willow learns her family is not really her own and then goes on a quest to find out who her true heritage. Talented actress Grace Fulton of ABC’s “Revenge” stars as Willow, opposite newcomer Dallas Hart and actress Rose Pritchard (“The App”).
“Willow is every woman. Because EVERY woman has a destiny purpose beyond what she can imagine. Every woman has the potential to join in the epic adventure to save the world,” Sheila Hart said.
“So ‘Journey to Abaddon’ begs to answer the age-old questions women have asked themselves throughout the centuries: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?”
The film is a prelude to a full-length motion picture Hart is planning for next year where Willow undertakes her journey and encounters many challenges.
“Through the larger story of ‘Journey to Abaddon,’ I am calling women, young and old all over the world to rise up into the greatness woven into their DNA and become the heroes they were destined to be,” Hart said.
“With this film, I am also calling for the entertainment industry to involve more women as directors, producers and lead actors.”
According to the non-profit organization Women Make Movies (WMM), in 2012, women made up just 18 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 highest grossing films in the U.S. or just 1 percentage point higher than in 1998.
Moreover, women accounted for 9 percent of directors working on the top 250 grossing films in the U.S. while women accounted for just 15 percent of the writers, 17 percent of executive producers, 20 percent of editors, 4 percent of cinematographers, and 25 percent of producers working on the top 250 grossing films in the country in 2011, according to WMM.
“I truly hope to start a revolution with this film and through my activism,” Hart said.
“Cannes is the focus of the motion picture industry for nearly two weeks and it’s ideally a great place to start raising awareness of this issue.”