See another side of the picture, hear the rest of the tale.
Seen & Heard have released an awesome line up of 4 days (13th – 16th November) of film-drenched fun! Head on over to www.shmelb.com to check it out! There’s shorts and features and docos and drama and comedy and erotica and horror and everything and anything. The festival is devoted to celebrating female talent. It’s feminist and bad ass and radical.
Three of your favourite Kino/filmonik-ites are responsible for bringing you this fantastic celebration of female-identified filmmakers. Mia Falstien-Rush, a Kino Sydney veteran, who’s made Filmonik her new DIY cinema home, (and has screened some of the most quirky and inventive film’s we’ve seen at Filmonik), has poured her entire life into this project over the past 12 months. Holly Ryder-Ingham, who premiered at Filmonik a few months back, and Robert Zappulla, who collaborates with Mia, are also to thank for bringing us this wonderful filmic feast of a weekend.We can’t wait to help Mia celebrate this fucking amazing achievement. So go book lots of tickets kids! Now!
Here’s some stuff I stole from their website about why the event is so damn important:
Seen & Heard was launched in Sydney in 2009 as a non-profit film festival by Lucy Randall with the view to promote women’s filmmaking and bring to light industry prejudices that may not be so clear to the consumer.
At that time, a woman had never won an Academy Award for Best Director (and only three females had ever been nominated in the entire history of The Oscars). Nobody talked about the absence of women in production roles in mainstream media.
Female filmmakers, particularly in Australia, have long campaigned for their place in film as activists and as film collectives. Over the course of the festival’s lifetime, both industry and media are slowly sitting up and taking more notice of these issues too. It is clear, though, that wider cultural change remains a distant goal.
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.
It is not hard to see that the lack of any type of women in the film industry is an impoverishment to our culture, one that can only be rectified once we recognise that the dramatic under-representation of women amongst both cast & crew is a problem.
For the first time this year, Melbourne audiences are invited to join us in taking that small, but necessary, step towards female filmmakers being both Seen & Heard. We promote the message that films made by women are not just for women: they are wonderfully rich films that should be seen by everyone. Trust us, you’re in for an exciting program of films that are as diverse as they are visually stunning.
We look forward to seeing you at ACMI from November 13 – 16.
For an easy-to-digest infographic on the Celluloid Ceiling, go here. For a more in-depth look at the same, go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.