Variety reports that Indigenous Media has partnered with several “women in film” organizations that aim to decrease gender disparities in film and television to establish a mentorship program for a new group of female writers and directors.
This is certainly a welcomed program. Research shows that that there are very few films being helmed by women, and when there are no women in directing and producing positions, there are likely to be fewer in below the line positions as well. In 2014, only 19% of the top shows had female showrunners, and only 2% of the films were directed by women. I could go on forever quoting numbers that show major disparities in Hollywood, but I think we are all very aware that gender statistics in all areas of filmmaking are just horrible.
The goal of this program is to help find candidates for an incubator called Made By Women, which focuses on creating dramatic series helmed by women. Each organization is responsible for nominating 3 candidates, and Indigenous Media will select the finalists and will then assign each woman to a mentor.
Kasi Lemmons, the director of critically acclaimed ‘Eve’s Bayou’ and ‘Talk to Me‘, is among the impressive list of mentors that include: Lesli Linka Glatter (‘Homeland‘), Mimi Leder (‘The Leftovers‘), Betty Thomas (‘Private Parts‘), Sarah Treem (‘The Affair’), Jon and Jake Avnet (‘Black Swan’), and Rodrigo Garcia (‘Albert Nobbs’).
In addition to the mentor program, Indigenous Media will finance a short film based on each pair’s pilot script with the opportunity to produce and fund a full-length version.
“The biggest challenges are always getting into the rooms that you need to get into and having people open to the types of stories that I want to tell. And I feel that just being a female director and doing that is a big deal in this country. On my third movie I worked with a French DP. I asked him has he ever worked with a woman director before? He said ‘in France a third of directors are women; so you can’t avoid them.’ I realized that the US is behind.” – Kasi Lemmons, Director
To be considered for this incubator, please join one of the below organizations, and you can check out more info about Made by Women HERE.