I am 51. I started screenwriting @ 45, won awards and have a major feature financing. Last year I wrote directed and produced a short film and I've just shot another one - all low budget, all hard work, all very flawed labors of love. I have not been to film school. As a sole parent/breadwinner that is not an option. I have stories to tell, and I am very aware that I may run out of time before I hit my stride, but I am trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the amazing things coming to me in mid-life. I don't think about my age until someone (usually a young guy, but not always, who also points out that I am 'female') reminds me, then I realise I'm being judged - I did the same thing when I was young, too, so I get it. I know there are opportunities I just won't get because of my age, so I have to make my own. I did filmmaking when I was young and it was much tougher than now and I gave it up for a great career in another area, which was exciting but never as satisfying as telling stories and working with actors. At that time, too, I saw many of my male contemporaries waltz into filmmaking careers, but those doors were closed to me. I can't tell you the number of men who have pointed out to me that I am a 'female director'. But there are enough who don't and fortunately, things are changing. As a good friend (and very successful producer) said to me after a recent setback: don't worry about it, just keep going.