Eva Mendes was inspired to make her directorial debut after seeing Angelina Jolie take charge of the camera for an upcoming feature film. Mendes put forward a movie called "California Romanza", which stars Christina Ricci, as part of the annual Glamour Reel Moments event in Los Angeles earlier this year.
She admits Jolie, who is currently working on a Bosnian war movie, inspired her - and she also credits Kathryn Bigelow's award-winning work on "The Hurt Locker" with making her want to direct a film.
Mendes tells Britain's Hello! magazine, "I loved the whole experience. I believe we need more women behind the camera. This year, with Kathryn Bigelow winning an Oscar and Angelina Jolie directing a film, it's a great time for women to step behind the camera."
"I certainly felt very empowered by it when I made my film. It's about time we heard more women's voices and points of view in cinema because it's a male-dominated industry. It's starting to equal out a bit, though, which is exciting."