How 'A Wrinkle in Time' is helping women crack a glass ceiling in film.

2016, for all its ups and downs, has brought us some major milestone achievements, especially for women.

In the wake of Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman presidential candidate of a major political party, director Ava DuVernay ("Selma") became the first woman of color to helm a movie with a budget of over $100 million.

DuVernay recognizes this is a huge milestone for women, but has been incredibly humble about being the pioneer for an important reason — there are many other women who deserve recognition alongside her.



Needless to say, shattering this particular glass ceiling in film was long overdue.

Duvernay isn't the only powerhouse woman working on the project either. The film is an adaptation of the beloved YA novel "A Wrinkle in Time" which was written by another woman: award-winning writer, Madeleine L'Engle. The book itself won a Newbery Medal — one of the two most prestigious awards a children's novel can receive.

The film is being adapted for the screen by Jennifer Lee, who you might know as the writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film "Frozen," which was lauded for being one of the first "princess films" to feature two women who were saved by each other rather than by a man.

"A Wrinkle in Time" will also star a woman who's basically a professional at breaking through man-made barriers.

That's right, folks, I'm talking about Oprah (Opraaaaahhhhh!).

Oprah, just being Oprah. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

Oprah is set to play the story's ethereal character, Mrs. Which. For those who aren't familiar with "A Wrinkle in Time," Mrs. Which is the leader of the three supernatural "witches" who lead the children in through time and space. In the novel, she only ever appears as a magical ball of light, which seems apropos, considering Oprah's exuberance and superstardom.

Obviously DuVernay will be in very good company on set, surrounding herself and her cast with some serious wave-makers to bring the film to life.

With "A Wrinkle in Time," Duvernay is joining a rather small pool of women working at the top of the film budget chain.

Kathryn Bigelow was the first to make it past the $100 million line in 2002 for her movie “K-19: The Widowmaker." And Patty Jenkins will soon join them with her adaptation of "Wonder Woman," which will hit theaters in 2017.

Bigelow with her well-deserved Oscar for "The Hurt Locker." Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

If one is groundbreaking, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern, let's hope this pattern means we'll see this club of three keep growing — especially now that women have proven many times over, they can catapult a movie into blockbuster territory just as well as the next guy.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

As Canada's women's soccer team prepares for its gold medal match against Sweden this week in Tokyo, it also prepares to make history as the first Olympic team to have an openly transgender, non-binary athlete win a medal at the games.

Quinn, the 25-year-old midfielder, announced their non-binary identity on social media last September, adopting they/them pronouns and a singular name. Quinn said they'd been living openly as a transgender person with their loved ones, but this was their first time coming out publicly.

"I want to be visible to queer folks who don't see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago," they wrote. "I want to challenge cis folks ( if you don't know what cis means, that's probably you!!!) to be better allies."

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