Screen Queensland Announces Gender Initiative

Screen Queensland Announces Gender Initiative

Screen Queensland is joining the groundswell of action to remove barriers for female screen practitioners to ensure more diversity both in front and behind the camera.

Chair of Screen Queensland Linda Apelt said the organisation was proud to launch its initiative that will support the targets set through Screen Australia’s recently announced Gender Matters, to address the gender imbalance within the industry.

‘Our new initiative will help bring about real change in the screen industry and will support the five-point plan announced by Screen Australia in November,’ said Chair of Screen Queensland Linda Apelt.

‘There is incredible momentum worldwide in the screen industry on this issue and as an agency working directly with filmmakers, we have a responsibility to remove barriers that create this gender imbalance and the opportunity is now.’

Ms Apelt noted that there are strong commercial reasons to back female stories on screen and for screen agencies to play a role in supporting those stories.

‘The screen industry maintains a unique role in the creation of cultural identity and is an industry of influence. But on and off screen, representation of women is not currently a reflection of audience or society,’ said Apelt.

‘There are a scarce number of Australian films that are targeting women audiences, and yet there is a large volume of research and evidence that shows that women of all ages spend more time viewing television than men and that women comprise a larger share of cinema goers.’

The MPAA’s annual statistics on moviegoers released in March 2014 showed that the majority of people who go to the movies are women (52%), but we’re seeing stories that are about men 85% of the time.

Screen Queensland’s plan includes launching four new programs in 2016 and supporting these through evaluation to benchmark and measure the progress.

SQ Gender Parity Program Initiatives:

SQ to roll out:

Women’s Filmmaker Showcase: create an online female filmmaking showcase to promote existing female writers, directors and producers and their work
Mentor and Leadership Program: establish a mentor and leadership program designed to pair established filmmakers with early career female screenwriters, directors and producers
Creative Attachments: Provide creative attachments opportunities for women in key creative roles
Incubate: Develop and hold an annual incubator with international leaders in the industry to gather intelligence and implement best practice to grow women’s participation in creative roles in Queensland’s screen sector

Undertake Research and Measure Outcomes

SQ to:
evaluate (numbers and percentages) of applications and funding of women in key creative roles (writer, director, and producer) across relevant Screen Queensland programs and initiatives
carry out the Bechdel Test on scripts submitted as part of applications/funded across relevant Screen Queensland programs and initiatives

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