NZFC Steps up for Women in Screen Industry

Posted Monday 13 Apr 2015

As a result of the discussions last year around the lack of gender equality in the New Zealand screen industry, the Film Commission have come out fighting, with a commitment to:

1) Collecting and publishing information and statistics on women working in the screen industry.

They will publish and make available gender statistics based on our funding information.  They have started gathering gender information from production crews on NZFC funded projects, and this information will be shared with the industry on an annual basis. Insights gained from this information will enhance understanding about how to increase the participation and retention of women in the industry.

Statistics from 2009 - 2014 show that although women make up 52% of producers on films applying for NZFC funding, they are under-represented in other areas of film-making. For the same period, only 32% of applications included female writers, and only 8% had a female director attached.

Interestingly, those producers, directors and writers who received funding broadly mirror the gender mix of applicants, although it is slightly better for female directors who were named on 12% of funded projects. While our statistics aren't great, we do compare favourably with most other countries.

2) Setting a 50% target participation rate for women film-makers in the professional development area.

This includes: professional development awards/ internships/ existing annual scholarships such as those to the Big Screen Symposium and AnimfxNZ

The number of applications and recipients will be published regularly and if they are tracking below the 50% participation rate, NZFC will actively encourage women to apply.

3) Identifying and engaging with female film-makers.

The Talent Development team will spend more time identifying and maintaining engagement with promising female feature screen-writers and directors with a view to nurturing professional and creatively beneficial relationships with producers.

4) Encouraging proposals from guilds and industry organisations that support the professional development of women in the screen industry.  NZFC will also consult with the guilds and industry on roles suitable for the Annual Scholarship programme.

WIFT is delighted with this strong and thoughtful response to the issues raised last year and we look forward to seeing the voices and perspectives of women which are integral to telling the stories of our country, its culture and communities.