Media Production Show to discuss gender equality
The Media Production Show, a free industry event to be hosted by KFTV’s publisher MBI on 9 and 10 June 2016, will include a seminar on gender equality in the creative industries, an issue which affects the global business.
A panel of women who have achieved great success in the film and TV sectors is scheduled to discuss the pertinent issue on Day One (9 June) at the Business Design Centre in London.
Producer Julia Stannard and directors Virginia Gilbert and Dearbhla Walsh will join Channel 4 diversity executive Oona King and Euston Films managing director Kate Harwood for a seminar entitled Being a Successful Woman in Film & TV.
The discussion will take place just weeks after a new report from professional association Directors UK found that women comprised just 13% of all British film directors working over the past decade. In addition, the number of films directed by women increased by only half a percent over the same period.
Directors UK wants to strive towards having half of all the UK's publicly-funded films directed by women by 2020.
“It cannot be acceptable that in 2016 any industry with this level of inequality continues to go unchecked - not least the film industry that plays such an influential role in our economy, our society and our culture,” said Beryl Richards, chair of Directors UK and chair of Directors UK Gender Equality Group, when the report was first published.
Gender equality is also a discussion point internationally and is being closely scrutinised in Hollywood.
While female filmmakers like Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay (pictured below) and Sofia Coppola comprise a minority, actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette have been vocal on the pay gap that favours male actors.
Official statistics also spotlight the broader issue of opportunities for female crew in key film and TV production roles.
Women made up less than a third of TV writers working in the US in 2014, according to figures from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Last year a separate study from the American Civil Liberties Union found that women directed just 7% of the 250 top-grossing US movies of 2014 – a figure lower than in 1998 – and that women accounted for just 14% of TV directors in 2013-14.
Incentivising gender equality and racial diversity is one possible strategy. A series of high-profile writers and filmmakers are supporting the efforts of the Writers Guild of America East to boost diversity in New York by specifically incentivising the hiring of women and people from ethnic minorities as TV writers and directors.
The Media Production Show’s gender seminar will help sharpen focus on the issue from the perspective of the UK industry.
To find out more about The Media Production Show and to register for your free entry badge click here.
Ava DuVernay image: Atsushi Nishijima / 2014 Paramount Pictures