Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2015


gender equality, motion picture industry, feminist film theory, women, motion picture directing, movies, women's rights, grants, feminism, film criticism


In 1974, the American Film Institute opened the Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). Trying to normalize the idea of a woman director, the program admitted nineteen women, providing each one with the materials to direct two films. Focusing on the DWW's first cycle, this article argues that the DWW's history is a vehicle for understanding the complex ways in which moderate and radical feminists interpreted the role of the women's rights movement in the commercial film industry by examining the controversy and media attention that surrounded it, as well as the ways in which race, class, and fame operated to impact the DWW's significance both in Hollywood and in the individual experiences of each participant.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



This is the author accepted manuscript of the published article:

Philis M. Barragán Goetz. "Breaking Away from Reverence and Rape: The AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Feminism, and the Politics of the Accidental Archive." The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists 15, no. 2 (2015): 50-71. doi:10.5749/movingimage.15.2.0050.

Archived in Digital Commons with permission from the University of Minnesota Press.