Skip to main content

Today's Global Opportunities for Women Filmmakers

So many opportunities for #womeninfilm are limited geographically. These aren't.  And they're amazing.

WIFT NSW's 'Safer Workplace Strategies' Industry Forum

The big opportunity this week is to tune into the Facebook stream of WIFT NSW's 'Safer Workplace Strategies' Industry Forum, to address harassment in the 
Australian screen industry and to inform and inspire us wherever we are in the world. It will discuss implementing a sexual harassment code of ethics in Australia and canvass how to empower witnesses to report harassment and bullying. We all need these conversations right now and warm thanks to WIFT NSW for opening this up to everyone!


8.45am to 1.30pm (AEST) Tuesday 12 December and live-streamed globally via WIFT NSW's Facebook page, from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.


The forum will hear from experts in the screen, law, sexual assault and workplace protection industries and panels will examine sexual harassment and assault as well as broader bullying and intimidation within the context of the film and television industry.


To bring the best minds together in a forum working towards cultural change to stamp out sexual harassment in the Australian Screen sector, WIFT NSW has joined with Screen Australia, Create NSW, Foxtel, AFTRS, Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network, Screen Producers Australia, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). The forum is also supported by the Australian Writers’ Guild, Australian Screen Editors Guild and Australian Cinematographers Society, amongst others.

Karen Willis, Executive Officer, Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (R&DVS) Australia will lead 'toolkit sessions' on 'Empowering Ethical Bystanders' and 'Frameworks for organisational policy and cultural change'. The keynote address presented via video-link by Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, will deliver Kate’s knowledge of cultural reform and working with Male Champions of Change.

Industry leader Margaret Pomeranz, Director of the Board of AACTA will moderate one of the panels.  Panelists include Gelina Talbot, Acting Assistant Commissioner NSW Police; Adair Donaldson, Civil Lawyer; Louise Rumble, Special Counsel Workplace Relations and Safety, Holding Redlich; Mark Donaldson, Business and Legal Affairs, Screen Producers Australia and Menaka Cooke, Counsellor and HR expert and many more.

Megan Riakos, WIFT NSW President, says 'WIFT NSW has been overwhelmed by the support from key industry partners. It is a reflection of the seriousness of the issue that our industry has come together so quickly and with such passion to put this forum on. This is a tipping point for the sector and WIFT NSW is proud to be leading this reform and cultural change'.

WIFT NSW encourages employers to set aside time for staff to attend the session or view the live streaming of the event.


To book your ticket to attend in person or get notified of the streaming link with supporting digital materials click here.

Please note– 

AFTRS Theatre attendance must be booked and seating will be a first come first serve basis. A second overflow room is available within the AFTRS building that will stream the event and morning tea will be provided for all attendees.

If you are not in Sydney, the following live sites will be in operation on the day–

HOBART (no Eventbrite link)

6th Floor, Marine Board Building, 1 Franklin Wharf, Hobart
Hosted by Screen Tasmania


Canberra Technology Park
49 Phillip Avenue, Block A, Room 212 Watson
Hosted by Screen Canberra


Griffith Film School
226 Grey St, Building S05, Room 2.04
Hosted by Griffith Film School

MELBOURNE (no Eventbrite link)

Screen Australia
Ground floor, 290 Coventry St
South Melbourne
Hosted by Screen Australia

Stephanie Rothman Fellowship

The Shockwaves Podcast and Etheria have created the Stephanie Rothman Fellowship for women film students who are making or want to make horror, science fiction, action, fantasy, and thriller films. The fellowship is meant to recognize and reward the creativity and passion of female film students with an innovative take on genre filmmakingand is open to any identifying women in an undergraduate or graduate university or college film school program around the world. Applications will be open from December 1, 2017 through April 1, 2018.

This fellowship will be awarded by passionate genre film professionals (who also happen to be genre film fans) looking to encourage and monetarily aid like-minded women filmmakers. The fellowship funds can be used towards any film school-related expenses or to fund a film. There is no submission fee. Qualifying students are encouraged to apply via Filmfreeway.

So who's Stephanie Rothman? She directed horror, comedy, and thrillers such as The Student Nurses (1970), The Velvet Vampire (1971), and Terminal Island (1974) and was was hired by producer Roger Corman in 1966 to direct additional scenes for a horror film release, making her the first woman in history to direct a modern horror film and was a co-founder of Dimension Films.

And she's a feminist. Here's how Interview describes Stephanie's The Student Nurses, re-released with a new print, last year–

'...a bait-and-switch of the traditional exploitation formula, stacked with fleshed-out characters, topical social consciousness, and an uncompromising feminist agenda.'

In June this year, Etheria, the world's most respected annual showcase of new sci-fi, fantasy, action, thriller and horror films directed by women (submit now!) honored Stephanie with the festival’s Inspiration Award and the award is the brainchild of Etheria's festival pioneers Heidi Honeycutt and Stacy Pippi and USC film professor Rebekah McKendry – Stephanie studied at USC and Rebekah is former marketing director of the world-famous horror magazine Sangria and former editor of

'If women directors want to work in mainstream film and television, they need to focus their work in the popular genres of horror, comedy, science fiction, and action films,' says Heidi. 'We want to encourage female film students to contribute to the collective genre film culture and make films that audiences love.'

'I want to help other female filmmakers achieve their fullest potential and turn their dreams and visions into a reality,” says Rebekah. 'By giving women the tools they need to succeed, we can begin to reshape the industry into a more gender neutral place.'

The recipient of the inaugural Stephanie Rothman Fellowship will be announced in June, 2018 at the Etheria Film Night showcase at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Pot Luck is Back!

Pot Luck is Aotearoa New Zealand’s first lesbian webseries, written and directed by Ness Simons: 'fresh, fun, and sexy webseries that follows the lives of three Wellington friends as they negotiate friendship, family and finding love at their weekly pot luck dinners. Pull up a seat and enjoy the fun with Debs, Beth and Mel'!

Six new episodes launching 10 December. What an opportunity. I loved Season 1 and will be binge-watching Season 2 ASAP!

The Bitch List 2018 – Nominations Open Now!

The Bitch List's Thuc Nguyen

On Monday, January 8, 2018 (around noon Pacific Standard time), The Bitch List, created by Thuc Nguyen, will publish its annual list of the entertainment industry’s best-liked Bechdel Test passing screenplays. This list comes out in January to recap 2017’s great reads and to highlight the stories we collectively want to get made in the coming year.

Nominations are accepted from those working at studios, networks, agencies, management companies, and production companies anywhere in the world. Alumni of the list are also eligible to vote. This time, esteemed #TheBitchList2017 winner Britta Lundin is helping facilitate more industry reads of this coming year’s winning scripts.

Voters must send in their nominations via their official work emails and/or include an link of the nominator’s own work in order to verify identities.


You can email in votes from Monday, December 11, 2017 until 5pm Pacific Standard Time, Monday, December 22, 2017 to Subject line should be: The Bitch List 2018 VOTE


Title of script

Genre (examples: historical drama, horror, romantic comedy, dramedy, etc. …)

Format (feature or teleplay or web series)

Name of writer(s)

Representation (manager or agent or lawyer of writer(s))

Status (optioned, pre-production, available)

Who you are and where you work (see above)

Please limit votes to two scripts per voter – do not send in let’s say – twenty votes.

NB Read more about Thuc Nguyen's work here. Up to date information is always here.

The Women of Mudbound: 'I Just Go For Who's Excellent'

This is the most beautiful and life-affirming clip about working with women as crew that I've ever seen. One to cherish. It provides opportunity through a very fine model-to-reference.


Popular posts from this blog

Saving Mr. Disney: A Lesbian Perspective By Carolyn Gage

To stay focused when I'm writing intensively, I go to the movies in the afternoons. It's a kind of meditation that includes the walk down the hill to the cinema and back up again afterwards. And a few weeks ago, I saw three women-directed movies in three days: Rama Burshtein's Fill The Void, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch'Allah and Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said. Maybe things have changed, I thought to myself, ever optimistic. But I also noticed that men wrote and directed Catching Fire, from a novel by a woman, about a young woman and produced by a woman. And then I read Vocativ's analysis of 2013's 50 top-grossing US releases. This shows that almost half were Bechdel Test-passing films and that they did better at the US box office than those that weren't. BUT except for Frozen, which Jennifer Lee co-directed (and wrote) men directed all 50. And then at the weekend, all three of the new releases reviewed in our local paper (with enthusiasm) told s…

The NZ International Film Festival – 1. New Zealand Women

The Context
This week, the United Nations women's agency, UN Women, joined forces with activist and Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, to support the first global study of how women and girls are portrayed in family films. The study will examine the top-grossing international movies in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. According to Geena Davis, the current dearth of female characters of substance in family films means that children are being taught that girls and women 'don't take up half of the space in the world'. And for Lakshimi Puri, acting head of UN Women:
Gender representation in film influences the perception of women and girls, their self-esteem and the relationships between the sexes... We cannot let the negative depiction of women and girls erode the hard gains that have been made on gender equality and women's empowerment.Also this week, in a  report for CNN, Melissa Silverstein of Women &…

Ally Acker's 'Reel Herstory'

I fell over Ally Acker’s work via this tweet. Not Ally’s tweet, you’ll notice, because she doesn’t engage with social media, which may be why I missed her before.

I was immediately curious about Ally's extraordinary magnum opus, Reel Women, the two-volume revised and expanded book and the 10 discs (see below) and the forthcoming Reel Herstory: The REAL Story of Reel Women. Introduced by Jodie Foster, Reel Herstory is a feature-length documentary that runs two and a half hours. It's in two parts. The first covers The Silent Era and the second Talkies Through Today (first ten minutes below).