I keep hearing arguments from various sources suggesting that it is impossible to have gender parity within the film industry.
Some of the arguments come with evidence, such as an article written by Tim O’Hare, that states the only reason 2 out of the 28 Director nominees were female at the recent Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) awards was because they only make up 16% of Australian directors. Mathematically this is a fair point.
Another point to support his argument was that the film industry is a niche one, reserved for those who have a penchant for wanting to sacrifice time and sleep to be on film sets, and as a result is not inclusive to those from “broader walks of society.”
His solution then to closing the gender gap within film was to simply let the industry grow and with this growth film will naturally come to include more women and minorities.
I have never been more ticked off in my entire life!
There is a significant majority of women enrolled in film degrees across Australia and those women often outperform or are as good as their male counterparts. Yet when it comes to receiving jobs the male percentage is so much higher.
You can’t possibly say that women do not want to work in the film industry because at the tertiary level the interest is there. It is people like Tim O’ Hare and the landscape of the current industry that is killing the spark in many young female filmmaker hopefuls before they get a chance to truly show their merit.
It is true that not all successful filmmakers went through a degree but surely this evidence has got to count for something?
A big problem for women is finding the companies that will fund their projects due to the statistical evidence that women make less money at the box office than men. Again we are at a disadvantage to our percentage of directors. Mr O’Hare suggests that one great female directed film will change all this but I’ve seen many a fantastic female films released which has still left the funding situation where it is.
It comes down to not only changing how the film industry views women but how society views women. We need trust that we can do any job just as good as a man. Being blind sighted by misogynistic companies has nothing to do with whether women want the job or not. We’re here. We want to make films. Let us make films!