Europe's Leap Towards Gender Equality in the Audiovisual Sector

Europe has vaulted ahead in gender equity in film, thanks to September's comprehensive Council of Europe Recommendation on Gender Equality in the Audiovisual Sector (Recommendation) and then October's Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2020 (Gender Strategy) from Eurimages, the Council of Europe's organisation for film co-production, theatrical distribution, exhibition, promotion and gender equality.

(Eurimages has 37 members from among the Council of Europe's 47 member states; and Canada is an associate member. I'd love Aotearoa New Zealand to become an associate member, too.)

Through establishing principles of a wider scope than anywhere else in the world, the Recommendation aims to rectify the following, not just in film and television, but throughout the audiovisual industries: Watch out, gaming! Music industry take note!–

1. Lack of awareness of the prevalence of gender inequality.
2. Conscious and unconscious gender bias at all levels of the industry.
3. …

How To Be A #WomeninFilm Activist :Sophie Mayer's Manifesto

I love Sophie Mayer and her work and her generosity. If you’re not familiar with her, check out my interview with her, when she launched her latest book, Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema, in 2016; she is also a poet.

I endorse everything she writes in this post, originally published on Facebook.

by Sophie Mayer

So. Over the last few days, several dozen people have approached me about setting up, moderating or endorsing various kinds of closed/secret/anonymous groups or portals for disclosure of harassment and assault in the screen sector. I'm glad people are ready to talk, but here's

(a) why I think they're asking me; and

(b) why I've said no, and what I think we do instead. Take a deep breath -- I'm going long. If you like it, Paypal me.

a) I am public about being a survivor of serial sexual abuse, rape and assault.

b) Going public is not for everyone, for reasons we know; I'm not going to tell you that disclosure is empowering, but I will tell you…

NZ Update #11.2: Gender Equity in Practice

In the first part of this post, NZ Update #11.1, I addressed this myth: gender inequity within the ‘pipelines’ to feature film funding and television drama will disappear if AotearoaNZ's taxpayer-funded agencies persuade women screenwriters and directors to Do It, to upskill and to apply for funding more often. I showed that the reality is that the system favours men who write and direct and this adversely affects women, whatever we do or don't do. I also showed that the production of many women-created short-form series demonstrates that there's a large cohort of women who already Do It to a high standard in spite of having limited resources; and identified some characteristics of their practice as they develop new ways to tell screen stories. 

I suggested that the taxpayer-funding agencies Do It themselves, instead. The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC, responsible for funding films), New Zealand On Air (NZOA, responsible for funding television and digital programmes) a…

NZ Update #11.1– The Women Who Do It

This is the first of two posts about gender equity in the allocation of Aotearoa New Zealand (AotearoaNZ)’s taxpayer funds to screen-based fictions. After eleven years of learning from many others engaged with this issue, here and around the world, I argue that the agencies responsible for investing taxpayer funds must acknowledge that women writers’ and directors’ low participation in feature filmmaking and television drama is due to systemic and enduring advantages for men who write and direct; and that it is not women’s ‘fault’Because of their systemic flaws, the agencies concerned should complement their collection and use of  diversity data with comprehensive gender equity policies and best practices, instead of urging women to enter their pipelines in larger numbers and providing piecemeal programmes designed to upskill’ women. 

I propose that new gender equity policies and practices formally recognise that many diverse and skilled AotearoaNZ women writers and directors a…