International Women’s Day: resources + forums for female filmmakers

Today I gave a presentation in my MA class (via Zoom… sigh). On documentary ethics. On International Women’s Day.

So naturally I wore my Time’s Up shirt, seized the opportunity to discuss (the lack of) gender parity in media industries and rounded off with a collection of female-focused platforms/ forums/ resources, which my cishet gentleman prof just loved. Said resources are listed below for your information and inspiration.

Read a case study, see if your favourite movie passes the Bechdel test or watch a female-directed film today! My pick: Miranda July’s lyrical odd-ball caper Kajillionaire.

The goods:

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Non-profit research organisation researching gender representation in media and advocating for equal representation.

ArrayNow

Founded in 2010 by the inimitable Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a grassroots distribution, arts and advocacy collective focused on films by women and people of colour.

Women in Film

Advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries –  to achieve parity and transform culture. 

The Cherry Picks

Amplifies the female critical voice by aggregating reviews by women and looking at film through a female lens. Reading what white cishet men think about films can be exhausting – hit Cherry Picks up & give yourself a break.

Women in Film & Television UK

Membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK, and part of an international network of over 10,000 women worldwide.

Sundance Resource Map for Women Filmmakers

Resources for female filmmakers/ raising awareness among decision-makers and gatekeepers in the industry about the deficit of women behind the camera in independent film and beyond.

aaaaand rounding off with some lovely stats circa 2017 from a study by the British Film Institute highlighting how far we still have to go to reach gender parity in UK film, both on-screen and off.

Happy patriarchy-smashing!

Very fun stat circa 2018 from the New York Film Academy!

some racial reads

Novels, essay collections, non-fiction, memoirs, biography, history. There are endless forms available to educate yourself.

No one is going to become an expert overnight and no one is asking for that. But this issue is more than a night’s work. So read up if you can – whichever form draws you most. 

I’m starting with The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward because these are what drew me. 

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Blindspot by Mahzarin R. Banaji & Anthony G. Greenwald

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi

When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele

Mindful of Race by Ruth King

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis

The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

SIGN

We Can’t Breathe – Minneapolis-based petition calling for the immediate arrest and second degree murder charge of all four officers involved in George Floyd’s murder

NAACP petition #WeAreDoneDying – if you are outside the US and want to sign, you need to enter a US postcode – I used 11201 Brooklyn

Justice for George Floyd via Change.org

Justice for Breonna Taylor via Change.org. Taylor was fatally shot two months ago by LMPD police officers who stormed into her home whilst serving a ‘no-knock’ warrant, at the wrong address, with the individuals at the center of the investigation already in police custody. 

Justice for Ahmaud Arbery via Change.org. In February Ahmaud Arbery was pursued and fatally shot by Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael, under the false pretext of suspecting Arbery after witnessing a burglary in Satilla Shores of Glynn County. No one has the right to pursue, attack and kill an unarmed, non-threatening individual. Arbery was racially profiled. 

^^This case-specific list could go on. It cannot be left to BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people and communities to organise and speak every time this happens. 

DONATE

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Black Lives Matter

National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP)

#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #ICantBreathe