Momentum for change
"Seeing the growing momentum and calls for change within film and television drama made me take a hard look at my own unscripted genre area and I was shocked that I couldn’t think of a single female camera or sound operator that I’d personally worked with within the reality genre over the last 15 years. I started asking my fellow reality TV colleagues if they had and the resounding response was ‘practically none’. There is clearly an imbalance across many sectors and we need to work collectively to address these issues. ‘How did we get here?’ and ‘How do we practically and logistically look at approaching this imbalance?’. It needs a cohesive and supported industry plan. A dialogue has started with key production companies with the clear aim of addressing this imbalance within the unscripted and reality TV genres." - Kylie Washington
In the last few weeks of 2015 there has been a building of momentum and support from across the Australian screen sector demonstrating a commitment from production companies, individuals, industry organisations, state and Commonwealth Government screen agencies to take concrete action to address gender inequity across the industry.
We take a look at some of the key initiatives announced so far and speak with some of the industry’s leaders about the groundwork done so far and find out what’s happening next.
Gender Matters – Screen Australia’s focus on female led creative teams
Screen Australia announced on December 7, a five point, $5 million plan over three years for Gender Matters, a suite of initiatives to address the gender imbalance within the Australian screen industry.
During its launch on December 7, Screen Australia called for female key creatives to pitch their projects and business concepts for opportunities to secure development or seed funding, and announced a five-point plan to be developed in consultation with the Gender Matters Taskforce.
Jungle update: Operation Sheena - female creative talent initiative
In November, NSW based production company Jungle announced Operation Sheena, a three-part initiative to address gender equity in its organisation. Those initiatives are the launch of a female creative talent program in collaboration with Screen NSW; a commitment to employ at least one female in writing, directing or producing on every project; and the promotion of Chloe Rickard to partner and Head of Film and TV production. We catch up with Chloe Rickard and get an update on Jungle’s first director attachments and the team to discuss the initiatives.
Film Victoria and Natalie Miller Institute -Victorian Women in Leadership Development
In November, Film Victoria committed $50k to a new partnership with the Natalie Miller Fellowship, which will see five Victorian women receive funding in 2016 to help advance their careers and take on leadership roles within the screen industry. We talked to Sue Maslin, President, Natalie Miller Fellowship, about the incentive who said: "To actually have incentives to get women thinking and have women applying to increase their representation in creative areas such as writers, producers and directors but equally at the business end, so women in are in leadership roles in marketing, distribution, organisations can only be good for the industry. It gives us a more diverse and dynamic representation and it means a greater choice in the end to what we see on our screens."
Screen NSW Target to achieve gender equity in the Film and Television Industry in NSW
In November, Screen NSW introduced a target to achieve average 50:50 gender equity in its development and production funding programs by 2020. Effective immediately, the target will see Screen NSW work towards reducing the industry wide gender bias against women in key creative roles.
Image - From Magpie Pictures short film Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble: Director and camera department: L-R: Annie Benzie (Assistant/additional camera), Dena Curtis (Director), Anna Howard ACS (DOP), Juliet Young (Focus Puller/First AC)