Alum Kathleen Messmer Takes On Hollywood Gender Inequity

Wednesday, October 05, 2016
THE STORY EXCHANGE -- Female filmmakers are scarce, and large, persistent gender inequalities can bring extra challenges, says Kathleen Messmer, founder of film production company Anvil Springs Entertainment. “Starting a business as a woman is tough” enough, she says. “Starting a film production company? Please.” Already a difficult task for most filmmakers, Messmer faced outsized hurdles raising capital. To make a film, you need large amounts of cash up front, since a project won’t generate income until after it’s distributed. To get that money, filmmakers must secure investments or loans — and without income to report, the latter can be very tough to get. She says she chose to major in film at San Francisco State University, in part, as a form of rebellion. But she ended up enjoying the experience so thoroughly that, after earning her Bachelor’s degree in 2004, she went on to earn a Master’s degree in photography from the Academy of Art University in 2013.