Women working in the TV & Film Industry is fast becoming a popular talking point, as many are raising the question as to why the number of women in the media industry is decreasing. Famous faces are showing their support and raising awareness as Keira Knightley recently spoke about the challenges facing women in cinema, at a time when film companies continue cautiously making films for men (Vogue, 2014).
Celluloid Ceiling Report is the longest-running and most comprehensive report on women’s behind the scenes employment which helps raise awareness of the worrying facts about women in the industry.
The report revealed that just 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors were women, representing a decrease of 2% since 2012 and a decrease of 1% from 1998.
Women accounted for 10% of writers, 15% of executive producers, 17% of editors, 3% of cinematographers, and 25% of producers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2013.
A historical comparison of women’s employment on the top 250 films in 2013 and 1998 reveals that the percentages of women directors, writers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers have declined.Women comprised 6% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2013.
This represents a decrease of 3% from 2012 and 1998.
93% of the films had no female directors. Women accounted for 10% of writers working on the top 250 films of 2013. This represents a decrease of 5% points from 2012 and a decrease of 3% points from 1998. 83% of the films had no female writers.
To help women, as well as men, begin their journey towards their big break in the industry, The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund supports emerging talent through The John Brabourne Awards (JBA). The talent development programme provides financial assistance of between £1,000 and £5,000 to individuals working behind the scenes in the Film and TV industries. The JBAs provide a stepping stone to individuals who are talented and driven but have faced hurdles in progressing their career due to unfortunate circumstances in either their personal or professional lives.
Filmmaker, Amanda Boyle, turned to The John Brabourne Awards, giving her the opportunity to dive head-first into the world of directing, where she went on to complete her first short film, Hotel Infinity.
Boyle always had the goal of becoming a film director, but was struggling to break-through in a highly competitive industry. She knew that she was putting everything on the line when making the decision to concentrate 100% on her passion, but without the stability of permanent job, she couldn’t make ends meet on her own. Faced with serious debts, a number of part-time, unstable jobs and little time to focus on her career; it was becoming increasingly difficult to achieve her dream.
After years of struggling to get her voice heard, Amanda knew that JBA was the best option to succeed in the TV & Film industry.
After gaining support from JBA and releasing her debut film Hotel Infinity, certainly paid off as it won awards at several international film festivals and led to securing her first real job: Director of the Jack Thorne Channel 4 show Cast offs. The drama went on to be RTS nominated and was mentioned in a House of Lords debate as “brilliant, funny, touching and completely unsentimental”.
Since then she has gone on to direct the multi Bafta award winning Channel 4 show Skins, comedy drama Sirens, a collaboration with fashion house Mulberry entitled Skirt, and a Best New Commercial Director award at the British Arrows. Amanda is currently directing commercials through Academy Films whilst focusing on her first feature film Frozen. Written by Jemma Kennedy, the film will be produced by Judy Counihan (Objective) and Joel Wilson (Eleven Films).
If you are an aspiring writer, director or want to be behind the scenes, enter your submission to JBA at: http://www.ctbf.co.uk/johnbrabourneawards/index.html
JBA submissions closes on 31st July
If you work in the TV & Film industry or dream of becoming a filmmaker but find it difficult to get your foot in the door, let us know about your experiences and comment below.