These last two weeks have been the most important moments in the fight for gender equality in Hollywood in the seven-plus years that I have been working on this issue. The only other moment that comes close is Kathryn Bigelow winning the Oscar for Best Director in 2010. Despite how it may look from the outside, these last two weeks did not happen overnight. This is the culmination of a decades-long struggle by several generations of women who have had to fight for no more than the right to tell their stories and share their visions.
28th May 2015
28th May 2015
Maggie Gyllenhaal rapped Hollywood last week by revealing she was turned down for a role as the love interest of a 55-year-old leading man because she was "too old." She is 37. Her experience frustrated and surprised many, and we wanted to know just how typical it is of the way Hollywood really works. A woman's sex appeal sunsets on Sunset Boulevard in remarkably shorter time than its genetic reality, and Gyllenhaal's story is part of a trend of female leads disappearing from romantic roles in top box office films after the actors turn 30.
24th May 2015
Ingrid Bergman has been everywhere at the Cannes Film Festival this year. It's the centenary of her birth, so the festival chose as its poster a beautiful picture from the 1950s by Magnum photographer David Seymour. Her daughter, Isabella, headed up the jury at Un Certain Regard, the sidebar to the main competition, in which there were four films by women. Ingrid's face points to a question that was big along the Croisette this year. With films by and about women reaping major box office, why does the festival have only two films by women in the competition?
23rd May 2015
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on people in Hollywood, via an email on Thursday, to sign a petition urging the government to investigate and monitor the industry's "biased hiring practices." The ACLU is also hoping that key industry organisations will join them in circulating information about the petition, which is posted online.
22nd May 2015
A new transatlantic partnership between Film London and Independent Filmmaker Project aims to give two UK producers a major boost, broadening their horizons and giving them invaluable access to the prestigious No Borders International Co-Production Market at Independent Film Week in New York.
21st May 2015
This year's Open City Documentary Festival showcases a strong line-up of films by female directors. The festival is particularly pleased that three of the four nominee's for their Best UK Film Award are directed by women, highlighting the range of talent working in Britain today.
20th May 2015
The difficult home life of the Brontes will be brought to life in a new BBC1 drama about the literary sisters, written and directed by Last Tango In Halifax author Sally Wainwright. The one-off, two-hour drama will follow Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte’s relationship with each other and their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life was plagued by alcoholism and drug addiction.
19th May 2015
he BFI Film Fund is opening up its development funding to include more co-production projects. The Fund, will earmark £250,000 per year, effective immediately of its existing funding toward support for co-productions at the development stage. This allocation of funding builds on the BFI’s decision in early 2013 to allocate up to £1m per year for minority co-productions at the production stage. The first project to see fruition from that funding is The Lobster, which premiered in Cannes Competition.
18th May 2015
Through 2014 - 2015, we were tracking the progress of some of the women shortlisted for Creative England's development scheme, iFeatures. You can read all about it on our blog. One of those filmmakers was writer/director Hope Dickson Leach, who's film The Levelling - produced by Rachel Robey - has now been announced as one of the three features to be greenlit, and will go into production in the autumn. Fantastic news for them both.
18th May 2015
WFTV Chair Elizabeth Karlsen was one the key contributors on a Cannes forum focussed on industry sexism, organised by Variety and UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. Below is a report on the forum by Guardian journalist, Catherine Shoard.