Our research shows that the film industry must grapple with not only the paucity of female directors working at its highest ranks, but also the image industry leaders hold regarding female directors. To journey from gender inequality to parity, decision-makers and advocates must work to alter their perceptions about what women can and want to do in their careers. This requires moving away from narrow and limiting stereotypes to conceptions of women that are as open and unbounded as those surrounding men. After three years of research, the question can progress from “Why are female directors missing behind the camera in top films?’ to “What can be done to create change?”
In October 2015, Women In Film Los Angeles and Women at Sundance organized a Summit of 40 Hollywood decision-makers to do just that. The two-day meeting was devoted to designing systemic solutions to gender inequality in the film industry.
See below for press coverage on our October convening:
In an effort to provide US-based female filmmakers a comprehensive view of available support, we created a Resource Map surveying more than 150 programs from 50 organizations that serve female filmmakers. The result is a user-friendly searchable database of programs, events, workshops and services--an information storehouse where female media artists can tap into resources and opportunities.
Together, Sundance Institute and The Harnisch Foundation are launching Catalyst Women, a groundbreaking new program offering creative investors the opportunity to directly support women-led projects seeking financing. We are joining forces to combat one of the major obstacles to gender parity in independent film: a lack of access to capital among women filmmakers.
The inaugural Catalyst Women will take place May 4–5 in New York City. The goal? To connect film financiers dedicated to women artists with highly anticipated Sundance Institute–supported feature and documentary projects. The day and a half will include project presentations, meetings with filmmaking teams, and seminars to educate attendees about independent film.
We hope you’ll join us for this one-of-a-kind program to help build gender parity in filmmaking and bring these vital women’s voices to audiences everywhere. To participate in this event or to learn more about the Catalyst and Women at Sundance communities, contact Becca Keating, assistant director of individual giving, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-360-1981.
Women at Sundance is made possible by leadership support from The Harnisch Foundation and Refinery29.
Additional support is provided by Kering, The Jacquelyn & Gregory Zehner Foundation, Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment, Southern California BMW Centers, Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy, IMDbPro, Abigail Disney and Pierre Hauser, Ann Lovell, Barbara Bridges, LUNA, Gruber Family Foundation, Ruth Mutch, Women In Film Los Angeles, Vimeo, EPIX, Sam Slater and Paul Bernon (Burn Later Productions), Mark and Melanie Greenberg, Lorna Auerbach (Chasca Films, LLC), Tom Warne, and Claire Best.
To Support Women at Sundance with a donation, please email Rachel Denny, Director, Individual Giving.