For my final project, I chose to create a magazine that focuses on female filmmakers; the struggle of lack of recognition and support in an industry that relies on both for success. The name of the magazine is CHIXFLIXMagazine, and the article it showcases is called "Where are We Going, Where Have We Been". A lot of the issues i discuss in the article covers what we have focused on in class throughout the duration of this semester; why there are so few women prevalent behind the camera, primarily directors. My goal with this magazine was to motivate women who tend to feel discouraged about following their dreams in film and cinema. To show how we have been jipped, but also show that hope isn't completely lost. We Simply need to go out there and just do it. Nike (just kidding). It is time that we start deciding for ourselves whether or not we are capable of being successful or not & forget about those that say we can't.
There is a 'glass ceiling' that constantly hovers over the female filmmaker. Success and accomplishment is always in sight, seemingly attainable, yet never obtained. This is most certainly not because there is a lack of interest; on the contrary. As The Sundance Institute and Celluloid Ceiling research has proved numerous times again, there are more than enough women willing to risk the trials and tribulations of entering the heavily male populated industry (the fact that female to male film school graduate ratio is pretty much 50/50 should be indicator enough). Why then, in our contemporary times, have women not been able to surmount equating up to a mere 9% of the top grossing films on the charts? We can't even reach double digits?! REALLY?! It is so mind boggling to me. Especially since from my own experience attending Hunter College, women exceed men in numbers in so many of the film and media classes.
What should we attribute this lack of recognition--rather allowance, within the industry? We've said it so many times before and I am going to say it again, money. "Conventional wisdom says that producers and investors won't back female filmmakers because they don't have a track record of proven successes. But women can't build such a record if they don't have the backing to make movies" (Rolling Stone ). If women aren't even given the chance to fail, by not being able to make an attempt, how can we criticize them for not being successful? They were set up for failure from the get-go.
Fortunately, there are groups and organizations that recognize this b-s and are making a huge amount of progress in attempting to stop it. GameChanger is fairly new organization that seeks to shift the gender disparity in the film marketplace by tapping into the enormous yet undervalued talent pool of women directors and providing the financing necessary to bring their work to audiences worldwide". As a means to end the lack of finances many filmmakers can't seem to overcome, GameChangers is prepared too finance as many as 15 feature length films of any genre, willing to offer $1 million to as much as $5 million dollars to applicants they see fit. The only requirement: the films must be directed/ co-directed by a woman. This is totally fabulous considering that, "women are systematically disadvantaged when it comes to raising financing because financing is controlled by men" (Rolling Stone).
Similarly, New York Women in Film & Television (NYIFT) is also looking to help the female filmmakers finances. They are prepared to offer $5,000 to any female filmmaker that has completed/ is in the completion stages of a feature length dramatic film (yet they don't specify how many people will be awarded this). Applications however, were due November, 20th--sorry for the late notice guys. The program is called the Nancy Malone Marketing and Promoting Grant.
- Berger, John. "3." Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting, 1973. 45-64.
- Lauzen, Martha M. "The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2012." Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University. San Diego State University, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <http://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/files/2012_Celluloid_Ceiling_Exec_Summ.pdf>.
- Susman, Gary. "Where Are All the Female Filmmakers?" Rolling Stone. N.p., 06 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.
- Smith, Stacey L. "Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers." Sundance Institute. Sundance Institute, 21 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. <http://www.sundance.org/pdf/press-releases/Exploring-The-Barriers.pdf>.