Transparent Creator Jill Soloway on What Director Ava DuVernay Taught Her

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Jill Soloway. Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images

Transparent showrunner Jill Soloway was among those honored Tuesday night's Women in Film Awards, and she used the occasion to send a message of solidarity to all the female creators in the room. Addressing fellow honoree Ava DuVernay, Soloway recalled a crucial phone call they'd had in 2013. "I remember right after Afternoon Delight came up, I called you," she told DuVernay. "I was like, "Ah, okay, what do we do now?!" And you're like, "You have to bring all the women filmmakers together." We're making our movies, but we still have to do things like build the bridge out in front of us, like those cartoon bridges where you lay the slats as you go because the road really isnt there. We're starting from scratch."

Soloway also credited DuVernay for teaching her an important lesson about filmmaking: "Protagonism is privileged — and women deserve the privilege of protagonism. That means writing, directing, acting, telling our own stories, getting behind the camera and expressing how it feels to be ourselves." Only by bringing "a respect for [her] own femininity" into her work, Soloway told the audience, was she truly able to reach her full potential as a storyteller. "That's my birthright as a woman, to hold space for others," she said. "That's all I needed to do. And I had it all along, like the ruby slippers." She finished with what she hoped would be an inspirational message: "Women speaking the truth is a revolutionary act, and it'll change the world."