top of page

What we need to know about 40ish

A 40-year-old actress , refuses to give up her dream of “making it," in Hollywood, but 20 years later, she won’t face the reality, that age and how many followers you have, dictates the rules for talent and and when she lands her big break, she struggles to tell the truth, when casting demands to know her "real age," before they'll hire her for the role. 40ish is directed by Traci Hays and was nominated and awarded in various international film festivals throughout the last year.

Traci Hays is a DGA Award-nominated director of 40ish. Her feature directorial debut, TANGLED, based on the New York Times Best-Seller premiered on Amazon. The Hollywood Reporter named it a must-see romantic movie to watch this year. Prior to this, Traci directed FREDERICK which premiered at Dances with Films and won 20 awards including Best Director at the LA Film Awards and Best Picture at the NYC Film Awards. Traci partnered with Women’s Weekend Film Challenge to direct the thriller, DISCONNECTED with an all-female cast and crew. It won Traci Best Director at the Independent Short Awards, Top Shorts, and Indie Short Fest. Her short, 40ISH, won numerous accolades including Best Director and Best Short at the International NY Film Festival, an official selection at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and showcased at the Short Film Corner at the Festival De Cannes.

An alumna of Chapman University’s film program, Traci was awarded an apprenticeship with Randal Kleiser who continues to be an active mentor in her career. She is proud to be a part of Free the Work, a curated talent discovery platform that connects underrepresented creators. When she’s not directing, you’ll find Traci hiking in the Glendale mountains, listening to classic jazz, and making mouth-watering cheeseboards.

In her statement to LA Independent Women Film Awards, she states that ageism in Hollywood still runs rampant. My goal with 40ish is to capture what really goes on behind the curtain in Hollywood — how stereotypes of age, gender, and status play a large role in the uphill battle of breaking into the business. Set in the heart of Hollywood, this story takes you on a journey through the less glamorous side of an actress’s daily grind and how she perseveres despite the constant rejections and over-the-top personalities standing in the way of her dream. “As male actors age, the film industry deems them more experienced, more distinguished and more capable. It’s time Hollywood starts thinking about older actresses in the same way.” This statement by Olivia Mazzucato could not ring more true and I hope 40ish can shift the conversation and show that women over the age of 30 can embody any complex character in any genre.


bottom of page