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Showing posts from May, 2019

#WomenInFilm Databases

At Cannes, Downton Abbey actor Victoria Emslie has just announced the launch of Primetime. To encourage the hiring of more women in film, this new database spotlights women from all over the world working above the line and below the line in film.
Primetime is working to overcome the bias that traditionally affects women within the industry,” Emslie said. “To this effect, there are no profile pictures of members [though there are images of some of them on the site’s front page] and Primetime includes testimonials to help overcome the word-of-mouth based referral culture that prevails in the industry. The focus is on the achievements of members, showcasing the quality of their work.”
Primetime’s tech will expand in the future, with the help of corporate sponsorship. Upcoming features could include a job board, contract integration, and availability info. “We plan to put a percentage of our profits from future paid-for features into funding projects led by the women on our platform,” E…

NZ Update #18 – Beyond Exceptionality?

Some good news this week. A relief to write about, after my recent dense essays that explore continued risks to the safety of New Zealand women who make films; our taxpayer over-investment in international projects that white men write and direct; and under-investment in the distribution and marketing of films that New Zealand women write and direct; and new and inequitable taxpayer-funded creative worker research that may be used by policy-makers.  Whew.

Individually, these good news announcements don't mean much. But collectively, they may signal that – at last – that women writers and directors are not 'exceptional' in taxpayer-funded projects here. And some of them have established a new, local, ‘normal’ where both writing *and* directing roles are shared —  like the multiple women writers and directors of Waru and Vai;and others working as joint writer/directors in pairs.

At the Berlinale earlier this year, Vai’s Marina Alofagia McCartney articulated this idea very p…

Mothers Day

Three mothers-and-film things to celebrate! What a pleasure!

1. The Mothers Day screenings of Hepi Mita's beautiful, powerful film about his mother: Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, which I believe is central to debates about women's filmmaking, about women artists of all kinds who are also mothers (and their families); and about activist art-making. These screenings mark the beginning of Merata's New Zealand theatrical release.

At some venues the Mothers Day screenings will be accompanied by morning tea and Q & As with special guests associated with the film –  Merata's children and others: in Auckland (with Hepi Mita and Chelsea Winstanley); Christchurch (with Tearepa Kahi); Gisborne (with a haka powhiri and Merata's daughter Awatea Mita); Tauranga (with Merata's son Rafer Rautjoki); Rotorua (with Merata's son Richard Rautjoki and Cliff Curtis). And Wellington has an afternoon tea with Hepi, who will have had to leap on a plane very fast after…