Despite what many of our posts have made apparent up until now not all of the attitudes within the film industry are completely negative towards women film makers. There are some initiatives out there that aim to provide opportunities for females to get their films made and seen.
Most importantly for us Australians there is the Screen Australia Gender Matters initiative which you can read more about here, but I’ll briefly outline some of the great things it’s doing.
Announced in December 2015 the Gender Matters initiative is made up of $5 Million dollars in funding that goes towards boosting women’s careers, getting women’s stories made into films, as well as pushing more funding into marketing films made by women.
So far it’s provided a great hub for women in the industry as well attracting over 400 applicants in the last year in the various areas. Films like The Dressmaker being one of the programs stand out productions.
It’s too early to say whether this government funded program will provide the stimulus needed for change but at least it is giving women the opportunity to get started.
Looking outside of Australia other companies such as Vimeo have started to run initiatives for women. Starting in February this year Vimeo’s Share the Screen initiative involves the staff picking 5 female projects to finance and then share across the video-streaming site.
Also after receiving scrutinisation by Women In Film Los Angeles in their study of the festival between 2002-2014, The Sundance institute has begun to implement a fellowship Program that supports 6 women in the industry for a year. Although this program is only for women who are already successful in the industry by pushing them into the next stage of their careers, it can filter down the line to women who are just starting out by changing perceptions of the kinds of jobs women can fill.
Of course if women don’t get accepted into these programs there is always crowd funding which with the right amount of incentive and interest in a project can provide sometimes more than would have been given from a government or institution. Recently we discovered a 100% female film production on twitter called To The New Girl which used a Kickstarter campaign to fund their film.
More information about them and their project can be found on their website.
Although these are just a few short examples of the kinds of funding and support that companies are now beginning to provide it shows that there is a slither of hope for women in film yet. As of this year we are yet to see a dramatic change but as long as women keep taking advantage of these kinds of programs there is a chance for change to finally disrupt the old system.