Women At The Helm 2013

Today, business owners incorporate their beliefs in fairness and equality into their work. Nonprofit directors combine their passion for social justice with managerial prowess. Meet the new wave of out leaders who talk the talk and walk the walk.

ALLIE ESSLINGER
Founder, Olive Juice Films and Section II

A Southern transplant living in Brooklyn, Allie Esslinger is the founder of Olive Juice Films, a company producing projects across genres, including documentaries, feature films, web series, live comedy, and commercial campaigns. “Despite the fact that there are over 225 LGBTQ film festivals each year, only 17 films with queer female characters made it to theaters in 2012,” she tells GO about her mission. “We want to work with filmmakers and distributors to get those films onto our destination platform so that the audiences who weren’t able to attend the festivals still have a chance to see the films.” In that vein, Esslinger is also developing Section II, an online and streaming platform for curated, high-quality lesbian content, designed to deliver a cinematic experience to viewers who aren’t able—or aren’t comfortable enough—to go and see it in theaters. The name “Section II” refers to Section II of the Motion Picture Production Code that dealt with sex and outlawed lesbian films until 1968. Because this new venture will be dedicated to improving the representation of queer women in popular culture, Esslinger says, it’s a fitting way to “repurpose our namesake in order to showcase the truly exceptional films that have been made since the ban was lifted.”