LOS ANGELES — On any given working day, the bustling lobby of the Netflix office building on Sunset Boulevard can feel like the heart of Hollywood, surging with the twinned energy of promise and anxiety as all manner of the famous and the aspiring pass on through.

One recent Sunday afternoon, it was calm, quiet and empty save for five women who were having their portrait taken. They made for a formidable and accomplished group, and all have directed projects being released by Netflix by the end of the year.

Indie stalwart Nicole Holofcener’s “The Land of Steady Habits,” starring Ben Mendelsohn, is up first on Friday. One week later, on Sept. 21, comes Haifaa al-Mansour’s romantic dramedy “Nappily Ever After,” starring Sanaa Lathan. Tamara Jenkins’ first film in 11 years, “Private Life,” starring Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti, follows on Oct. 5. Sara Colangelo’s “The Kindergarten Teacher,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, which won the director a prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, debuts Oct. 12. And, finally, Susanne Bier’s post-apocalyptic “Bird Box,” starring Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson, bows Dec. 21.

And with that Netflix will release more films directed by women in the next four months than the combined six major Hollywood studios have released in the entire year. (For the record, that number for the studios is four. If you exclude one title from specialty division Sony Classics, it’s just three.)

Photos finished, the quintet sat down in one of the building’s many conference rooms, this one named for the children’s show “Beat Bugs.” Almost immediately the conversation veered toward why exactly they’ve been gathered together and whether asking them to unite leads to a productive conversation or a creative barrier.

Q: I would imagine with the current conversation around women filmmakers, that several of you have been through some version of this moment before.

Jenkins: Every year, every decade that I make a movie – because I don’t make them very much.

Q: Does change happen and go away? Why does this conversation have to keep coming up?

Bier: Because it’s still a huge problem. It only keeps coming up because it hasn’t gotten better fast enough.

Q: Nicole, was directing the Amy Schumer sketch “Last … Day,” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Patricia Arquette and Tina Fey, your version of answering these questions?

Holofcener: No. That sketch was just a really good job. It was so funny and so true. All of it’s true, and frustrating. I just don’t think that putting all of us women in a room together without men is helping anything. Unless they start having male roundtables.

Bier: I agree. The fact that it’s a novelty, the fact that we might actually have nothing in common other than our gender, and there is this weird thing where we’re supposed to be aligned. And I’d like to be aligned, but I’d also like to be aligned with male directors.

Al-Mansour: I find it’s an important time now and roundtables like this give a chance to have our voice heard. I see it as an opportunity and we should seize it. More women? Yes, give us more. Because I come from a place where it’s really hard for women, I always try to see the glass half-full because otherwise you feel very depressed if you’re thinking about what is lacking rather than what it’s giving.

Bier: I don’t think I agree with you. Fundamentally I agree with the glass half-full, but I guess the frustration is it’s a little bit of a way of putting us in a box.

Holofcener: We’re in the female ghetto. I think the more female-y female things get made, we’re still like this oddity. We still don’t rank with the big boys. And we’re all the lucky ones too. We can’t complain, we’re getting our films made.

Al-Mansour: But because there are few of us in the industry, we need a chance to explain our point of view. Whether it is sincere or pretend, there is a moment when we need to take it and voice our opinions on what we really want out of this.

Bier: I personally also feel some responsibility in terms of younger women. Younger women wanting to do this, showing it’s possible, that there is a way.

Colangelo: There’s something about our world now that’s so scary, and the world on Instagram and Facebook and hashtags is so different from the reality. Hopefully that’s not the case with women in film, hopefully we’re making more movies and all of this sort of cultural banter means something on the ground. And I think sometimes I feel that they’re getting better, then you see Stacy Smith’s newest report and things are the same or even worse.

Jenkins: That’s the Annenberg study? I found that really depressing.

Bier: But you also have to see which movies are being made. In other words, the kind of movies are getting more polarized. There’s a whole slate of movies which are not being made at the moment, which are actually being made by Netflix or other TV entities, and those movies have a potential for a more diverse point of view.

Q: Well, the other reason why you are all in this room is that your movies are being released by Netflix. Sara, your film was made independently and then picked up. What imprint does Netflix put on a movie?

Colangelo: I think had this been four or five years ago I might have been more skeptical to a day-and-date [release] or what that might have looked like. But it’s still going to be in theaters, people will have that experience. And in a way it’s exciting for the audience to be huge. Netflix, people can access it from other countries. So I think there’s a lot of excitement and opportunity in that. And I think it’s really shifted in the last few years.

Holofcener: The freedom making a movie at a place like Netflix afforded me was enormous. They let me cast who I want, they didn’t tell me to do anything different, they visited on the set just to say hi. That’s a great experience.

Q: But does it change how you think of your projects?

Jenkins: Is it still a movie if it’s not a movie? If a tree falls and it’s not in cinemas in the same way? I think about that a lot, because I wrote it to be a movie, I never knew how it was going to be made. And I’d think to myself, “Well, did Bergman shoot ‘Fanny and Alexander’ different because it was a television series?” First of all, our televisions are bigger than many screens at the Angelika Film Center, so I think that idea, in terms of scale and size, it’s just different. Have you been to the small cinemas where independent films are shown? They’re in basements and the screens are tiny.

Holofcener: I feel relieved I don’t have to worry about how long it’s going to stay in the theater. That’s always scary – “Is it gone?” I know it’s only going to be in the theater briefly, and then it can live forever as a postage stamp on everyone’s televisions. And more people will see it.

Bier: We all want to tell stories that are relevant to people. And it is somehow exciting to know that lots of people are going to see these stories. I think all of us put a lot of heart and soul and sleepless nights into everything we do and the least rewarding thing is when no one sees it. So I think it’s pretty amazing actually.

Colangelo: I wonder if viewership has changed due to Netflix, if people only watched films within their niche before because you had to buy a ticket to go in. And now, sometimes people shut it off after 10 minutes if it’s boring, but I wonder if there’s another side to that, which is people trying new things.

Jenkins: I always wonder about the things you’re getting, the algorithm that determines what you’re fed, what they think that you like based on other things that you’ve seen. And that’s the cultural equivalent of the political bubble problem. And you’re not actually having that level of exposure you’re talking about.

Holofcener: When I had my meeting with Netflix they said, “Well, this person, who is the least likely person, watched ‘Please Give.’ Everything before was violent thrillers and then they watched ‘Please Give.'” So they offer strange combinations.

Jenkins: Actually, I think that they used a different word than “algorithm.” I think they used the phrase “taste clusters.” I could be wrong. But I remember thinking it sounded very strange. I wrote it down. It sounded like some culinary experiment.

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