Current and Former Panels

COMING SATURDAY, MARCH 30th in Anaheim Women Rocking Hollywood: WonderCon 2024


Women Rocking Hollywood 2024: Female Filmmakers Breaking Barriers & Breaking Records

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie was the top grossing film of 2023 and is now the highest grossing comedy of all time. Barbie and 2023 releases like Polite Society, Joy Ride, Saltburn, and Past Lives show female filmmakers can and do create blockbusters, great films, and soon-to-be classics, whether or not they get recognized at awards time. Women are also excelling on the small screen. So why are the numbers of women hired by studio projects still so small, especially for women of color? We talk to creative, successful women in film about the way forward, and how gains through SAG/Aftra and the DGA are helping increase the percentage in Hollywood and beyond. Scheduled to appear and discuss the state of the business and their exciting new projects are Erica Tremblay (writer/director, Reservation Dogs, Fancy Dance), Anna Halberg (writer, House/Wife, director, the upcoming Tarot), Amy Greene (producer/stunt coordinator, The Holdovers, stunt coordinator/executive producer, Somewhere in Queens), Anna Biller (writer/director/producer, The Love Witch, the upcoming The Face of Horror), and Andria Wilson Mirza (director, Women in Film’s ReFrame, producer, The Queen of My Dreams). Moderated by Leslie Combemale (founder, Women Rocking Hollywood, lead contributor, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists). Room 207

Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2023

WRH 2023 Twitter Banner Sat

Women Rocking Hollywood 2023: How Female Filmmakers Reach the Hollywood A-List

It’s mixed news about female representation behind the scenes in Hollywood. Recent findings show gender balanced hiring is still not a priority in the industry, with women of color having the hardest time getting hired, despite critical acclaim. However, studies have also shown female filmmakers hire more women in key roles on feature films, so female-fronted films are more gender-balanced overall. There’s a small list of directors and producers with household names that have the juice to go after the biggest gigs, but how does a female filmmaker get on that list? The 2023 WRH panel, now in its 8th year, features women who have claimed their power, or are climbing to the top through big studio, streaming, and high-profile indie projects. Join writer/director Rosemary Rodriguez (director, Peacemaker, director, upcoming indie horror/drama mashup Hail Mary) Sam Bailey (producer/director, Dear White People, Marvel’s IronHeart), Jen McGowan (director, The Twilight Zone, Star Trek: Discovery), Nzingha Stewart (director, Daisy Jones and The Six, director/EP, the upcoming Cross), Laura Merians Gonçalves (director of photography, Black is King, Dead Ringers) and Andria Wilson Mirza (director, Sundance Institute and Women in Film’s ReFrame Project) as they share their thoughts on positive impact unions have for women in film, talk about their newest projects, and offer insights about finding success in the industry and moving the needle forward for everyone. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (creator, Women Rocking Hollywood, lead contributor, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists)

Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2022

WRH 2022 Twitter Post

Women Rocking Hollywood: Multi-hyphenate Female Filmmakers -

“Each one Teach One” is an expression women in film know well. The best female filmmakers are overwhelmingly collaborative and inclusive, knowing that representation not only matters, it makes projects better in production and when they reach the screen. Women in film also know in addition to directing, producing, writing, and even show running their projects allows their visions to stay intact and their voices to be heard. These women are building stellar reputations and becoming more and more in demand, which also helps aspiring female filmmakers to get hired and rise in stature. At the 7th annual Women Rocking Hollywood panel join the first Saudi Arabian female filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour (writer/director, Wadjda, director, Tales of the Walking Dead), Hanelle M. Culpepper (executive producer/director Anansi Boys, executive producer/director, Star Trek: Picard), Martina Mossell Lee (associate producer/director, All Rise, director, Black Boy Joy) Shaz Bennett (show runner/director Queen Sugar, executive producer Sovereign) and Andria Wilson Mirza (director, WIF’s ReFrame) discuss their latest projects and the many ways women are making space for diverse voices and points of view across all platforms. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (senior contributor, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, founder, Women Rocking Hollywood).

Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2021

Comic-Con@Home Women Rocking Hollywood San Diego Comic-Con@Home Supporting Female Filmmakers in a Post-Covid World
Women Rocking Hollywood 2021 Comic-Con@Home Edition: Supporting Female Filmmakers in a Post-Covid World

Now in our 6th year at the San Diego Comic-Con, the Women Rocking Hollywood panel continues to provide a platform for women navigating the challenges of working behind the camera in film and TV. The industry that has historically been out of balance and skewed toward what director Catherine Hardwicke calls “pale and male” is now grappling with how the major studios, independent productions, and streaming media will proceed in a post-pandemic world. How can we keep the momentum moving forward, and keep the importance of hiring and amplifying the work of more female filmmakers top of mind with gatekeepers that can help bring about parity? One way is to celebrate the work of women creating great content. Join Kate Herron (director: Sex Education, exec producer/director: Loki), Sian Heder (producer/writer/director: Orange is the New Black, writer/director: CODA) Christina M. Kim (exec producer/writer: Blindspot, exec producer/show runner: Kung Fu) Shaz Bennett (writer/director: Alaska is a Drag, director: Queen Sugar), and Ebony Adams (Manager of Public Programs: Women in Film: LA) as they discuss their current and upcoming projects, as well as the state of the industry. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (senior contributor: Alliance of Women Film Journalists, producer/creator: Women Rocking Hollywood).

Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2020

Women Rocking Hollywood_ San Diego Comic-Con@Home Facebook Banner (3)
Women Rocking Hollywood 2020 Comic-Con@Home Edition: Supporting Female-Helmed Film and TV
What is so great about working as executive producer and director on a Frank Miller/Tom Wheeler project? What is it like to direct Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne in complicated fight scenes? How does working with women above and below the line make a film with Kelvin Harrison Jr, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Dakota Johnson more nuanced and believable? What does a producing director on Queen Sugar do? Find out all this and more, including why supporting women in film is so vital to equality for all, and how fans can make a difference, on this exciting female filmmaker-focused panel. Watch Nisha Ganatra (director: Late Night, The High Note), Lauren Wolkstein (director: Cloak and Dagger, supervising director: Queen Sugar), Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director: Love and Basketball, director: The Old Guard), Zetna Fuentes (director: Jessica Jones, exec producer/director: Cursed) and Alison Emilio (director of ReFrame) as they share their experiences and insights. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (creator: Women Rocking Hollywood, freelance writer:


Watch the panel here at Comic-Con International's YouTube page!

Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2019

WRH2019 Twitter Post Revised 2

There have been positive developments in the last year for women in television and film. Initiatives like the 4% challenge are making news, movies and tv identified as gender-balanced are getting ReFrame stamps, and companies like OWN, Annapurna, Netflix, & Sundance continue to expand opportunities for intersectional women, supporting great content in the process. Changes are happening, but are they happening fast enough, and how can industry insiders and fans help the forward momentum?

Come see the inspired, talented, powerhouse panelists of this year’s Women Rocking Hollywood share their perspectives, and talk about their exciting new projects.Scheduled to appear: Alison Emilio (director of ReFrame), Liesl Tommy (director: The Walking Dead, Respect), Cheryl Dunye (producing director: Queen Sugar, director:David Makes Man), Jen McGowan (director: Rust Creek, founder: Glass Elevator), Gloria Calderón Kellett (executive story editor: How I Met Your Mother, co-creator/writer/director: One Day at a Time), Catherine Hardwicke (director: Twilight, Don't Look Deeper), C Fitz (director: Jewel's Catch One, Queen Sugar), and Angela Robinson (writer/director/producer: True Blood, writer/director: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women).  Moderator: Leslie Combemale(

Saturday, July 20th 2:00-3:00pm, Room 7AB


Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2018


The last year saw some forward movement for equality in front of and behind the camera. Women directors helmed more TV pilots than ever before. Will that trend continue? Will it result in more woman-directed and gender-balanced shows? In 2018, still only a fraction of studio films were directed by women, so how can lasting change be made? Some of the most successful, talented women in the industry will discuss their careers, latest projects, new initiatives, and how fans can be part of creating equality in film, TV, and all transmedia. Scheduled to appear: Kat Candler (showrunner/director, Queen Sugar, 12 Monkeys), Patricia Cardoso (director, Queen Sugar, Real Women Have Curves), Rosemary Rodriguez(producer/director, pilot Cagney & Lacey, Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead), Regina King (actress/director/producer, pilot The Finest, Shameless, Scandal), Patricia Riggen(producer/director, The 33, Jack Ryan), and Kirsten Schaffer (executive director, Women in Film: LA). Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren, The Credits).

For more information on each panelist, go to THIS PAGE!

Thanks to for their continued support of Women Rocking Hollywood!


Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2017

 Women Rocking Hollywood 2017Women Directors Changing the Face of Film and Television 

Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female director.  Now what? While there’s still a long way to go to equal the number of women behind the camera with women, who make up 51% of the population, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This 2nd annual panel at SDCC focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women expanding opportunities for women in film who have made noise and winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (exec director, Women in Film: LA), Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director: Queen of the South, director: Dear White People), Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director: Silver Skies, director: Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead), Victoria Mahoney (director: Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime), Aurora Guerrero (writer/director: Mosquita y Mari, director: Queen Sugar), Angela Robinson (writer/director: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood), and Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director: Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren). [Room 23ABC]

Thanks to for their continued support of Women Rocking Hollywood!


Women Rocking Hollywood Panel San Diego Comic Con 2016

Women Rocking Hollywood 2016

This exciting new panel features powerful, talented women changing Hollywood from the inside.  As creatives, directors, and producers, they are breaking box office records and showing Hollywood altering the status-quo just makes for better movies. Scheduled to appear are Victoria Alonso (exec producer: Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War), Deborah Snyder (producer: Wonder Woman, Justice League)  Angela Robinson (writer/director: D.E.B.S., True Blood, How to Get Away With MurderCatherine Hardwicke (director: Twilight,  Love Letters to the Dead) and Kirsten Schaffer (exec director: Women in Film: LA)  talking about positive changes in tinsel town, their work, and future projects. Marvel, DC, blockbusters, indies, and powerful women-This panel brings it all! Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren). sponsored the panel, in their continued effort to support equality for women in film.