I don’t usually cross post other blogs on this blog. (I like to be original!) But Melissa Silverstein’s wonderful piece on International Women’s Day is too good not to share. She runs the blog “Women and Hollywood” on the IndieWire Site. You should follow it, if you are into movies.
You can read the full blog here.
But here are the juicy takeaways:
1. Seek out and pay to see films directed by women. This is the most important thing you can do.
2. Go and see movies about women. We don’t want anyone to be using the word fluke to describe a successful films with female characters (even if they were the number 1 and number 3 films at the box office in 2013.) If you don’t know where those movies are playing sign up for Women and Hollywood’s weekly email which lists films opening and playing around the US.
3. If you live in a country where there is funding for films from taxpayer money ask them to supply the funding statistics for female directed films. If they don’t have those statistics push them to get them and keep pushing in every way possible to get those figures. Once you have the figures push for more funding for women because I can pretty much guarantee that it won’t be at 50/50.
Maybe its time to get over the word and push countries to implement a quota system for women directed films.
4. Find or start a female filmmakers group. Find out what grants or funding are available. Support each other. The more women are successful the more opportunities it opens for other women. Here’s a kick ass one in NYC – Film Fatales.
5. Seek out and read female critics and writers. If you town, city, or country doesn’t have a female critic or prominent female writer ASK THEM why not.
6. Don’t stand for sexist conversations about women and film. It’s not ok to stand by when someone demeans a woman director or if someone makes fun of a film about women JUST BECAUSE IT HAS WOMEN IN IT.
7. Support a women’s film festival. These are the places where you can consistently see work by and about women and the environment is so supportive for female filmmakers. Here’s a list of them from around the world.
8. Be a role model for the other women and girls and boys in your life. Remind them that you don’t need to have a beard or wear a baseball hat to be a director.
9. If you are organizing a panel at a film festival or event make sure it is not all white men.
10. If you are putting together a jury at a film festival make sure it is not all white men.
11. If you are putting together a crew for a film make sure it is not all white men.
12. If an agency gives you a list of directors for you to consider for your film and there are no women on it — ask them for women’s names.
13. Know your history – learn about the women directors, producers and writers who came before. Honor them. We are doomed to repeat history if we don’t learn from it.
Number five really resonated with me. I think all of the theatre critics in our area are men. It may be time to check into that in more detail.
Another great way to support women is brought to you by The Representation Project, formerly known as Miss Representation. They have developed a way to test your movie for positive representation of women, people of color and LGBT people, expanding on the Bechdel test. Download it, print it, and bring it to every movie you watch. Share it with your friends. Make it a conversation starter. Make it a game changer.