Since 2009 Seen & Heard Film Festival, a festival dedicated to the promotion and awareness of women in film making, has been making waves in Sydney as one of the most innovative and important new film cultural events in the city. Flash forward 5 years of continual growth and we, here in Melbourne, get to enjoy the spoils of one of the most eclectic and exciting 4 day film festivals the cultural calendar of this big brown land has to offer.
Taking place at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Seen & Heard kicks off tonight with Dyana Gaye’s celebrated 2013 French/Senegalese film Under A Starry Sky. there are limited seats available but you can still nab ’em here. Be sure to check out the whole program of events as it is a cracking line up!
How much participation do you think women get in the film industry? Check out this little bit of data from Seen & Heard Film Festivals’ official website
According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film,
“Women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 (U.S.) grossing films of 2013. This figure represents a decrease of two percentage points from 2012.
In 2013, women accounted for 6% of (U.S.) directors. If foreign films in the top 250 are included, this figure increases to 8%. In other roles, women comprised 10% of writers, 15% of executive producers, 25% of producers, 17% of editors, and 3% of cinematographers.”
The dramatic under-representation of female filmmakers inevitably leads to a dearth in solid female characterisation as well. Female characters remained dramatically under-represented as protagonists, major characters, and speaking (major and minor) characters in the top grossing films of 2013. Again, the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film reveals in their most recent report:
“On-screen female presence remains abysmal. In 2013, females accounted for 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters, and 30% of all speaking characters. Female characters were younger than their male counterparts and were more likely than males to have an identifiable marital status. Further, female characters were less likely than males to have clearly identifiable goals or be portrayed as leaders of any kind.”
Further disadvantages in the film industry exist for women of colour, non-cis women, queer women, women from low-income backgrounds, and women with disabilities.
If you love film and you love diversity than you can’t go wrong supporting Seen & Heard Film Festival Melbourne!
SEEN & HEARD FILM FESTIVAL – NOV 13 – 16, 2014 @ ACMI in MELBOURNE