The New Zealand Film Commission has green lit sixteen short films, eight in the Fresh 10 group ($10,000 budget) and eight in the Fresh 30 ($30,000 budget). Great to see that half have women writer/directors, many congratulations to them all!
The notes are via the NZFC, where the selection panel included: Chris Dudman (Director), Tina Cleary (Casting Director), Daniel Joseph Borgman (Writer/Director), Bonnie Slater (NZFC Professional Development Executive), Briar Grace-Smith (NZFC Development Executive) and Lisa Chatfield (NZFC Short Film Manager).
Here are the stats, thanks to Lisa Chatfield and Chantelle Burgoyne:
Fresh 10: There were 45 women directors across 149 submissions – 30.2% and women directors were attached to 31% of the shortlisted projects.
Fresh 30: There were 25 women directors across 86 submissions – 29.1% and women were attached to 29% of the short-listed projects.
There were a few instances of co-directing teams.
Five documentaries were submitted at the Fresh 10 level – three with women directors. One man as director of the single documentary submission at the Fresh 30 level.It's wonderful to see that although fewer submitted projects had women directors and writers than men, there was gender parity among those that were green lit.
Let's hope women will write and direct half of this year's Premiere Shorts ($90,000 budget), too. And that more of us apply. Applications are open NOW, closing 7 October.
At Premiere Shorts level, applications are assessed by Executive Producer teams, selected by the NZFC Board, from people in the industry. The EPs read the applications, contact teams and announce a shortlist. The shortlisted teams then work with the EPs on additional development to strengthen the film and develop a working relationship between EPs and themselves. The EPs then discuss their preferred projects with the Short Film Manager (Lisa Chatfield) and make a final decision on which projects will receive funding.
Historically, projects with women directors do less well at this budget level than in Fresh Shorts, which have been established only a few years. But when they do make it through, women-directed short film projects with larger budgets tend to do better on the film festival circuit than projects with men directors, according to NZFC research from a few years back.
– Ness Simons (writer/director), Bonnie Low & Jules Lovelock (producers)