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#directedbywomen #aotearoa

It's #Suffrage125 in Aotearoa New Zealand this year, 125 years since women got the vote.

To celebrate #Suffrage125 in Aotearoa New Zealand this year — 125 years since women got the vote — I’m creating a pop-up series of events that will celebrate and learn from women who direct for cinema, television and web series and commercials — local and international. With lots of lovely help. Old and new work, from Aotearoa and from overseas, with Q&As, debates and panels to learn more about women directors and the ways they approach screen story telling.

#directedbywomen #aotearoa is inspired by Barbara Ann O'Leary's beautiful and global project #DirectedbyWomen, an annual all-September party, now in its fourth year.

The first #directedbywomen pop-up is at Mokopōpaki's shop window cinema in Auckland, until Saturday at 4pm. It's been warmly welcomed, with the tiny space (perfect for two!) sometimes overflowing with viewers.


Is there anything you'd really like to see…

A Lost Archive?

Auckland Women’s Community Video (AWCV, 1976-about 1986) has become a kind of ghost in the herstorical archive, far too soon. I hate it, that their work has almost disappeared.

Take Slipping Away (1985) for instance, a video about The Freudian Slips, a feminist band Jenny Renalls formed in 1981. It’s possible that Slipping Away, or the raw footage it was made from, is this item in Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision. But I'm not sure. So I’m asking around, hoping to learn more. Also in Ngā Taonga, Deviance, a Freudian Slips short.

The Freudian Slips’ membership varied, including between five and nine women and sometimes all-lesbian and sometimes a mixture of lesbian and straight women. The band released two EP records,  On the Line in 1983 and Are You Laughing in 1985, covering topics that included periods, women and Catholicism, how super-heroes are always men, the right of women not to have orgasms, and police harassment. And yes, there are some entries in the National Library catalogu…

Belinde Ruth Stieve & NEROPA

You’re probably familiar with the questions that screenwriters often ask themselves when they revise their work: Do I start this scene as late as possible and end it in the right place? Who gets the last word in this this scene/sequence? Can I combine a couple of these characters?
And you'll know that there are often more questions, starting at the very first draft and persisting right through a film’s release, about the genders of storytellers, whether there’s a female protagonist, how the women and girls are described, what they talk about to each other, how they act. There’s much more attention paid to how many women and girls appear onscreen and how often they speak. There are endless studies that you’re probably familiar with, too, from places like the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, San Diego State University, from the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative (MD&SC) at the University of Southern California — associated with the Geena Davi…

NZ Update #15 Screen Women Demand End to Sexual Harassment at Work

This week, the Screen Women’s Action Group (SWAG) held two forums for women in the screen industries, in Auckland and Wellington. I went to part of the Auckland forum, where a large group of women from the screen industry filled the Mount Eden War Memorial Hall. I long for a War Against Women Memorial Hall, for this battle for our safety to be *over*, but these forums are a huge step forward, as for the first time screen women begin to speak publicly about their experiences, without fear of being blacklisted.

Again, congratulations and warm thanks to SWAG for what they’re doing and the thorough, heart-warming and inspiring way they do it. The group’s accessed impressive support from various government agencies and NGOs and presented a carefully considered programme with a diverse and engaging panel to introduce us to some key people and ideas, in a safe environment: there was a counsellor on hand and food to keep us all going at the end of the day.

I particularly enjoyed the panel’s …

NZ Update #14: Welcome To A Local #MeToo Organisation, SWAG!

I’m delighted that a group of women from the Aotearoa New Zealand screen industry have set up SWAG, a #MeToo action group, supported by former Green MP Catherine Delahunty (who stepped down at the last election after being the party’s spokesperson on many issues including Women and Arts, Culture & Heritage). Warm thanks to all of them and every good wish for their work!

It's a timely announcement. We need this kind of action.

Over the last decade I've heard many stories about abuses of power over women in Aotearoa New Zealand's screen industries, though very few about sexual assault, the main theme of the #MeToo campaigns. But earlier this week, a group of actors and producers called for a boycott of former Shortland Street star and acting coach René Naufahu, after he was sentenced to a year’s home detention for indecently assaulting six students during his acting classes.

Kate Elliott, winner of Best Actress at the 2017 New Zealand Television Awards, posted this on …

NZ Update #13: The Brilliance of Molly O'Shea

John O'Shea of Pacific Films is a legend in the film history of Aotearoa New Zealand. He died in 2001, aged 81. His daughter Kathy O'Shea, who died in 2010, was a legendary editor. And his grand-daughter, filmmaker Molly, gave this year's John O'Shea Memorial Address at the annual conference of New Zealand's Screen Production & Development Association (SPADA).

The address would be 'delivered by Dame Jane Campion and special guest', according to the SPADA programme. And what a special guest Molly was.

Her address is an instant feminist classic. Just brilliant. Wherever you live, if you want to persuade someone to give women filmmakers a go, entertain and inform them with this clip.
I hope that some of those producers who gave Molly a standing ovation then seized the opportunity to ask to read her pilot script, described by Jane Campion as 'incredible'. Go Molly! I can't wait to see your work.





Today's Global Opportunities for Women Filmmakers

So many opportunities for #womeninfilm are limited geographically. These aren't.  And they're amazing.
WIFT NSW's 'Safer Workplace Strategies' Industry Forum The big opportunity this week is to tune into the Facebook stream of WIFT NSW's 'Safer Workplace Strategies' Industry Forum, to address harassment in the 
Australian screen industry and to inform and inspire us wherever we are in the world. It will discuss implementing a sexual harassment code of ethics in Australia and canvass how to empower witnesses to report harassment and bullying. We all need these conversations right now and warm thanks to WIFT NSW for opening this up to everyone! TIME & PLACE (S) 8.45am to 1.30pm (AEST) Tuesday 12 December and live-streamed globally via WIFT NSW's Facebook page, from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.

AGENDA The forum will hear from experts in the screen, law, sexual assault and workplace protection industries and …