A Brief History of WFTV (UK)
WFTV staff, Board members, and guests at the 2011 International Women's Day celebration at the OXO Tower, London.
It was on a sunny afternoon back in 1989, atop the Kensington Roof Gardens, that a group of women came together for the first official WFTV (UK) meeting. They were a mix of business executives, creatives and performers, including Linda La Plante, Dawn French, and Janet Street Porter. These were successful women who were fed up with the still male-dominated industry which demanded they be engaged in a constant struggle to be heard and respected.
They resolved to take positive action and follow in the footsteps of organisations in LA and New York, which had been established in the 70s, to support women working in the film and TV industries. They did this by creating a network of members and organising workshops, events, mentoring and awards to help them progress in their careers.
In 1990 the first Women in Film and Television Awards ceremony was held to recognise the achievements of some of the most successful women the industry could boast. The ceremony also acted as a platform from which the organisation could make its message heard. The room would be full of industry decision-makers, the people who could instigate change from the top. 22 years on, the Awards is the largest annual celebration of women working in film, TV and digital media in the UK and has become a 'must attend' event.
Over the years the organisation has grown from being run by volunteers to having, in 2012, 3 full-time members of staff and a shabby-chic (or so we like to think!) Soho office. Members can access over 80 events annually, and 20 mid-career women benefit from a tailor-made mentoring scheme, that is widely praised by the industry, every year.
To find out more about what WFTV has in store in the near future, visit our events page.