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Sundance Film Festival

Why the second movie is the biggest hurdle to becoming a filmmaker — especially for women and minorities

Why the second movie is the biggest hurdle to becoming a filmmaker — especially for women and minorities

As a first-time director, Anna Rose Holmer is in an elite group. Her movie, “The Fits,” about an 11-year-old tomboy trying to fit in, was one of the fewer than 1% of submitted features Sundance Film Festival programmers chose last year, an acceptance rate tougher than that of an Ivy League college. She received some of the best reviews of the festival, and secured a distribution deal, a manager and an agent.

And yet, amid this success, Holmer, 31, now faces what is possibly the greatest barrier to a sustainable career as a filmmaker -- her second movie.

“Right now, it’s tough,” said Holmer, speaking by phone from Brooklyn, where she lives with her...

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