The Genesis of Invisible Women:
The short documentary, Invisible Women, had its genesis over seven years ago. Filmmakers Susan Davis and Susan Valdes met as members of the LA.-based Actresses@Work, an organization founded by working actresses dedicated to increasing the visibility of women over forty in the media.
In 1999, Davis, Valdes and a third partner, Debbie Wheaton, produced a short, ten-minute video to present at an AARP symposium on Ageism in the Media. It showcased three working actresses, metaphors for all women over forty who must struggle financially and emotionally after losing their livelihood.; They called it Invisible Women and it became the foundation for the documentary today.
The video was very enthusiastically received and over the next few years sparked interest at a mega advertising giant, within the industry and with foundations, but nothing came to fruition. Ageism wasn’t a “hot topic” yet. Veteran TV executive Steve Mills joined Davis and Valdes as their new producing partner.
Timing is everything. In 2003 the project came to the attention of Angel Rivera, the newly appointed National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity for Screen Actors Guild. He intorduced them to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, who embraced the theme and funded a 30-minute expanded version. Drawing on their years of experience and contacts within the film community, the producers have created a dynamic and thought-provoking view of ageism and its effect on the baby boomer generation.
Invisible Women: from l to r: Michele Richards, Deborah Harmon, Julie Carmen, Susan Davis, and Deborah Pratt
THE PRODUCERS OF INVISIBLE WOMEN
The making of the documentary INVISIBLE WOMEN was a collaborative effort and is produced, written and directed by: Susan Davis, Steve Mills and Susan Valdes.
Susan Davis has worked in many areas of show business. On Broadway she co-produced the critically acclaimed "Conversation at Midnight" by Edna St. Vincent Millay. An actress for over 30 years, she is most often remembered as Matthew Broderick's mother in "WarGames" and the nymphomaniac nurse on “Barney Miller.” Her voice-over credits include the voice of Pippi in the movie "The Pippi Longstocking Story," Sesame Street and The Electric Company.
Steve Mills has enjoyed a long and respected career as both a producer and executive in television. As Vice President in charge of Motion Pictures for Television and Mini-series at CBS Network from 1973-1988, he oversaw 600 movies, and as Senior Executive Vice President of Programming at Qintex Entertainment he was responsible for the highly acclaimed mini-series “Lonesome Dove “ and the Emmy winning “ the Incident” starring Walter Matthau. He is President of Miracle Productions.
Susan Valdes worked for several years in film, commercials and on the stage before focusing on raising her two daughters. A founding director of the Los Angeles-based Our Workshop Theatre Group, she is also a partner in the film and television development company headed by her husband, film producer David Valdes.
Steve Mills, Susan Davis, Susan Valdes