WIFT Wishes for 2011

Posted Tuesday 11 Jan 2011

Welcome to 2011, WIFT members - we hope it's a creative, productive and successful one for all of you.

You might have seen this short article in OnFilm - then again, you might not have, so we've reproduced it for you here. Here's what WIFT Executive Director Susi Newborn would like to see in 2011 for women in film and television.

"In December 2010 we learned that even though women make up 59% of the workforce here in New Zealand, they are paid 15% less than men for doing the same or similar work, in spite of successive governments having indicated that New Zealand would achieve gender parity by 2010. Female representation on government-appointed boards has fallen and of the 100 top companies on the NZ stock exchange, female membership has increased to a staggering 9.32%! A recent Economist survey found that Fortune 500 companies with more women on their Boards had better financial performances compared to those with fewer women on the boards. In fact, the increase of female employment has contributed more to global GDP than new technology or the new emerging economies of China and India.

So, given that the glass ceiling is very much welded in place in New Zealand, what about the celluloid ceiling? This year has been particularly good for women in the screen industries, not least for the first Oscar ever awarded to a woman director. In New Zealand more women are involved in producing, writing and directing movies than ever before. Of the 4 Escalator films chosen, 3 had women producers, directors, co-writers, DOP and co-producers. Women short film makers also won a high proportion of the awards at the recent Show me Shorts festival. This is all good for business - a study in the UK found that films written by women were more cost effective than those written by men.

So, what would WIFT like for 2011? Well, more of the same please! More women behind the camera, in front of the camera, writing scripts, directing, producing, editing, animating! We are already one of the strongest organisations of its kind in the world, so let's make sure we tear down the celluloid ceiling and by doing so cracks will start to appear in the glass ceiling, and in the end, when the ceiling comes tumbling down, the sky will be the limit."