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'NOT DONE: Women Remaking America' director Sara Wolitzky on how the fight for equality has gone mainstream

Sara Wolitzky, Director of the documentary 'NOT DONE: Women Remaking America', joined Yahoo Finance to discuss the premiere of the documentary and how it's highlighting the fight for equality in America.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Welcome back to "The Final Round." The new documentary "NOT DONE, Women Remaking America" really shines a light on the next generation of feminist women who are unafraid to really advocate for change. Earlier today, I sat down with the documentary's director, Sarah Wolitzky. We discussed how the movement has evolved over the last couple of years and also the message that she hopes viewers take away from the film. Let's listen.

SARA WOLITZKY: The film, which is going to premiere tonight on PBS, as part of the MAKER series, which is-- you know, has been a multi-year project now and had a first set of films that premiered back in 2013 and 2014. And as you know, MAKERS.com has been an incredible platform for telling women's stories and movement stories.

And so the early films really looked at, you know, decades of history for the women's movement in America and progress for gender equality. And, you know, as I said, those films last aired in 2014. And it just felt like the last several years have just been a new explosion, really, of feminist energy and organizing and women coming together, as you said, to fight back and to take on these new problems.

And I think you see a lot of, you know, new features of this moment that, you know, maybe are an evolution from where the women's movement was before.

SEANA SMITH: And Sara, you mentioned that this is an intersectional moment right now. And in this film, we hear from Natalie Portman. We hear from Shonda Rhimes. We hear from America Ferrera, just some of those names that are featured in this documentary.

I guess, my question at this point, when we think about how much has changed just over the last several years, and then switching that and looking ahead, what do you think are some of the biggest obstacles facing this movement over the next 10 years?

SARA WOLITZKY: Well, I mean, there are-- of course, there are huge obstacles. But, you know, I think more in some ways about just how, you know, how far we've come. But, you know, as far as the obstacles going forward, I mean, in some ways, I think one of the things is that we're at a place where the-- we're sort of newly awakened, I think, to just how entrenched misogyny and racism and transphobia and xenophobia are in this country.

I think one of the things we try to tackle in the film is that, you know, we might have sort of been getting to a place where we're making slow and steady progress. We had the first woman as the nominee for a major party ticket for president in 2016. And I think that was the moment that everyone just sort of thought was the obvious next evolution to this, you know, slow and steady progress we were making.

And I think these last four years, whether it was through that loss or the MeToo movement, have reminded us just how deep and vast these problems are. And certainly with the dramatic racial justice reckoning that's gone on in this country over the summer, but really, you know, for many years, you know, we're reminded of how deep these problems are.

SEANA SMITH: Sara, talking about not being complacent, I'm curious just to get your perspective on what you've seen in Hollywood, and really, in the film making business over the last couple of years. Because you are in it. You're a leader in the documentary space. I'm curious just what steps you think need to be taken just in terms of making Hollywood and the filmmaking space, the documentary world, more inclusive.

SARA WOLITZKY: Yeah. Well, I've been pretty lucky, you know, being in documentaries and working for a person like Dyllan McGee and working with MAKERS for all these years. I think, in some ways, the documentary world, as far as women are concerned, has been more inclusive. We definitely have ways to go on that and certainly ways to go in being more inclusive of people of color and women of color, both behind the scenes and on camera.

I think it starts with just hire more women, hire more people of color. There's no question, you know, even within our company and within MAKERS, that we've made that push in the last several years. And you've seen also more companies, you know, start funding those projects more. I think, you know, our film is actually the first recipient of the Verizon Future Fund, which is really exciting.

So we were the very first people to receive funding. But it's a fund that's going to support women in entertainment and technology for the next many years. And I think, you know, it does take work. It does take effort to kind of branch out beyond your sort of usual mental Rolodex of people to hire for a project. So I just think there's no excuse for not making that effort to hire a more diverse set of storytellers.

SEANA SMITH: And that was Sara Wolitzky, director of "NOT DONE, Women Remaking America." It premieres tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern time on PBS.