July 2016

In London, July has been HOT. While we’ve been eating Magnums, buying paddling pools and getting distracted by American politics, this month’s guest editor Hol Royce has been keeping a sharp eye on the news – the good news – for women in film. Over to you, Hol…

The Bad-Ass Women of Comic-Con

Women at Comic Con
Women hands-down ruled Comic-Con 2016, which pretty much managed to break the internet with its influx of exciting announcements for women in film. Brie Larson has been announced to star in Captain Marvel, the first female stand-alone film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Inside Out’s Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman are currently rumoured to be writing the script.
Wonder Woman trailer

If that’s not enough to get your inner nerd pounding on your ribcage, the first Wonder Woman trailer has been released and it’s amazing – as it should be, with a comic to film story 75 years in the making. Wonder Woman is the first superhero movie in years where a woman plays the title role, a huge milestone for such a thriving section of the film industry. The film will be directed by Patty Jenkins but unlike Captain Marvel, no women were involved in the writing process. This is crazy when you reflect on how integral women are to Wonder Woman’s story. Still work to do, but some exciting wins none-the-less.


Novel to screenKirsten / Bell Jar

Kristen Dunst is no stranger to portraying melancholia. After stealing the show in latest season of Fargo and off the back of directing two short films (Welcome, 2007 and Bastard, 2011), Dunst will direct her first feature – an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s 1963 novel ‘The Bell Jar’. The film will star Dakota Fanning as Esther Greenwood, who will also co-produce the film.

The script was co-written by Dunst and her friend, Nellie Kim. The executive producer and production team are almost all exclusively female – totally necessary when dealing with such a complex, multi-layered portrayal of women.

BFI presents: Woman with a Movie Camera
 A Life Less Ordinary: Indian Independent Filmmakers’ Debate

Girl in the RiverThe London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) has been in full swing this month, shining a spotlight on some of India’s best independent films, many of whom are directed by women.

On July 17th, cinema goers were given a rare opportunity to hear from the award winning filmmaker Leena Yadav, plus an amazing line up inspiring women in film including Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Shefali Bhushan and Rinku Kalsy. A debate and Q&A had them discussing their careers and experiences as women filmmakers around the world.

Yadav’s bold, mesmerizing and tender film Parched, also took out the Directors Vision award at the LIFF.


WomeEast Endn sweep the The East End Film Festival

Earlier this month The East End Film Festival celebrated its 15th run, concluding with an exciting industry landmark – all four recipients of EEFF’s jury awards are female filmmakers AND each of these films focus on a female title character, including  As I Open My Eyes, Sonita, Adult Life Skills and The Third Dad.

Alison Poltock, festival founder and director was overjoyed with the result: “With women making up less than 14% of filmmakers in the UK, it shows that whilst the quantity may be low, clearly the quality is extremely high.” We could not agree more! Smash that ceiling ladies.


Good ThingsScreen Australia to allocate $3 million towards new female-focused projects

Finally, some good news out of Australia (I’m Australian – I can say that)! Just like everywhere else around the world, women are struggling to break into the Australian film industry. In December 2015, a report revealed women make up just 16 per cent of directors, 23 per cent of screenwriters and 30 per cent of producers in Australian filmmaking since 1970… let’s just say it’s about time to shake things up.

In a bid to overcome decades of poor representation, Screen Australia has announced it will fund more than $3 million for 58 projects led by women as part of a $5 million program aimed at encouraging and supporting female talent. This includes funding for 27 new directors and 46 writers who are either newcomers or moving into a new field.

Bechdel Test Fest