Only 16% of Australian Film Directors Are Women
Out of the top 250 grossing films of 2018 only 20% were directed by a woman. These alarming statistics showcase the struggle that women have getting work behind the camera and it’s not a case of a lack of female filmmakers.
Graduates of film degrees are evenly split in terms of gender. Intelligent, creative young women leave university but only the men seem to get the jobs. Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career) is an advocate for affirmative change to the inequality within the industry saying “They’re [students] coming out of AFTRS (Australian Film Television & Radio School) or VCA (Victorian College of the Arts), they might have even won an award for their short film, and what I’ve noticed is the young men that win the awards are head-hunted immediately…It’s pushed young women back.”
Within the industry itself those who hand out the funds to make feature films are looking at women in a different light to men. For example director Kim Farrant (Strangerland) was told to dress more like a man at pitch meetings in order to increase her chances of getting her film made. She refused and 13 years later finally went into production. The mindset at the moment within the industry is that women are incapable of leading a film production and the lack of projects being given the green light has led to the stigma that women aren’t necessarily interested in making productions. Both of these statements are ridiculous and untrue. The interest is there but the companies that can open the doors are set on keeping them shut.
Australia’s film industry is already small and it is generally tough to get film made here even as a man. I’m not trying to advocate that we should just start giving women directorial positions for the sake of equality. What I am saying is that it needs to be fair and there’s no reason why women, who are just as capable and talented as men, can’t be given the same opportunities to make their films and tell their stories.
This blog is intent on supporting new female filmmakers get those opportunities and guiding them on their journey towards becoming film directors. If you aspire to direct films one day then check out our New Filmmakers Guide Series full of tips and tricks to set you up for the best filmmaking experience.
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