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Showing posts from September, 2014

Thank You, Jane Campion

One day last week I got up early, to watch the stream of presentations at the Washington session of the 2d Global Symposium of the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media (LA session coming  soon) . It was great to see and hear people I'd only read about and to see the involvement of UN Women . I was especially inspired by activist, filmmaker and philanthropist  Abigail Disney  ( Pray the Devil Back to Hell ,  Women, War & Peace , founder of Peace is Loud  and the outspoken great-niece of Walt.) 'Gatekeepers are wrong 50% of the time', she said, in a fresh version of screenwriter William Goldman's assertion that in the screen industry 'nobody knows anything'.  The other statement that's stayed with me came from Dr Stacy Smith, of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative , who led the Geena Davis Institute research launched at the symposium, Gender Bias Without Borders .   'As money moves in, women are pushed out', she sai

The BFI Greenlights Diversity

Kate Sheppard as green light Yesterday was the 121st anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand. Yes, we were the first country in the world to give women the vote. And this year the Wellington City Council has commemorated this with some special pedestrian green lights near Parliament, portraying suffragist Kate Sheppard . Also yesterday, I caught up with the British Film Institute (BFI)'s  'three ticks'  policy, 'designed to address diversity in relation to ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic status'. Green-lit in July, the policy went live on 1 September. The BFI is the largest public film fund in the United Kingdom, invests over £27m into film development, production, international sales and distribution, and supports around 30 new film productions each year. From now on, to be eligible for BFI Film Fund support for production, producers who apply must demonstrate their commitment to encouraging diverse represent

Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand & WIFT Take Action

Every so often magic happens. Like this public meeting organised by  Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand  (DEGNZ) and WIFTNZ . I was sad I couldn't go and look forward to seeing the video that was recorded, as shown in the audience pic below. Many thanks to DEGNZ Executive Director Fiona Copland and to Lucy Stonex, for this brief report of the historic event, including the pics, followed by my response. For those of you not familiar with New Zealand, Annie Goldson is a documentary director and producer and academic, Cushla Dillon is an editor, Gaylene Preston is a director, writer and producer in film and television and Jackie Van Beek is an actor and a writer and director for stage and screen. l. to r. Gaylene Preston, Kim Hill, Annie Goldson, Jackie Van Beek by Lucy Stonex Responding to the release of some concerning international statistics, members of DEGNZ and WIFT gathered in Auckland last week to talk about gender imbalance amongst directors and

The Fledgling Fund & Social Impact Assessment

The Fledgling Fund is a private foundation 'driven by the passionate belief that film can inspire a better world'. The list of films it's supported is truly impressive, lots by and about women. Here's just a few– Brave Miss World , Budrus , Girl Rising , Leaving the Life , Miss Representation , Mothers of Bedford ,  Saving Face , The Invisible War , The Light in Her Eyes . Other significant projects include The Mask You Live In and  Seed: The Untold Story . And there are many many more. I love it that each project on the Fledgling Fund site has its own social impact page, powered by Sparkwise . On those pages I can read a synopsis and about the filmmakers, see the trailer, get a snapshot of the project's communities and social media reach, find out who its main supporters are. Learn about how I can become a supporter and/or viewer. There are graphs! There are maps even! I can't show you a full screenshot of any of the pages, many of them rich and c

'The Patriarch' & Producer Matriarch Robin Scholes – Equity Crowdfunding Reaches New Zealand

Just over a month ago, Pledgeme and Snowball Effect became New Zealand’s first equity crowd funders , licensed to act as intermediaries between entrepreneurial companies wanting to sell shares and investors wanting to buy them. This week, The Patriarch , through Snowball, became the first feature film to seek equity crowdfunding in New Zealand. It may not be the first feature in the world to be equity crowd funded but it’s close. New Zealanders have engaged with equity crowdfunding before, when Spanner Films, led by New Zealander Lizzie Gillett, produced Franny Armstrong’s The Age of Stupid in the United Kingdom and later provided a step-by-step guide to their model. Also in the United Kingdom, Simon West ( Tomb Raider , Con Air ) is using equity crowdfunding to raise money for his Salty . The Patriarch , from the novel Bulibasha , is the fourth feature from a Witi Ihimaera story. It follows Whale Rider (2002, wr/dir Niki Caro), Kawa (2010, from Nights in the Garden of

Women Wrote Half SWANZ 2014 Nominated Scripts!

The New Zealand Writers Guild has announced the Finalists for the Script Writer Awards NZ 2014. Fantastic to see so many women's names. Warm congratulations to you all! BEST FEATURE FILM SCRIPT Max Currie – Everything We Loved James Napier Robertson – Dark Horse Gerard Johnstone – Housebound Sophie Henderson – Fantail BEST TELEVISION ONE-OFF DRAMA Fiona Samuel –  Consent: The Louise Nicholas Stor y  Donna Malane & Paula Boock –  Field Punishment No.1   Donna Malane & Paula Boock –  Pirates of the Airwaves UNPRODUCED FEATURE FILM SCRIPT COMPETITION Gillian Ashurst –  Gnats   Dianne Taylor –  The Last Hippie Trail   Tania Wheeler –  Umbrella Man Richard Goodwin –  Immortal Diamond Jackie Owens –  Three Gardens