Friday, December 5, 2014

Where Are The Women?

     The 2015 Sundance Film Festival has officially released the lineup of films to be screened! [You can sneak a peek for yourself here.] A plethora of uniquely intriguing synapses scrolled down my screen before I caught myself exploring deeper into the depths of the Sundance website. In particular, the "Womens Initiative" caught my attention. 

Full Disclaimer:

     In essence, the Womens Initiative is a group of organizers that promote gender equality in the film industry by supporting female filmmakers in developing their stories into projects as well as assisting them sustain a career. My first reaction was pleasant. I thought, "Well that's nice. While we may have progressed significantly since the first wave of feminism we certainly are far from the cusp of equality." Shortly thereafter another monsoon of thoughts emerged. Just how much of a "banana republic" was the film world? The results of my research were surprisingly unsurprising. Surely, males make up more of the workforce than females do. But just how much men dominated wasn't clear to me... until today that is.
From Sundance Institutes press release from Womens Initiative's research 
     As if that chart isn't horrifying enough... these numbers are rapidly declining in all but one or two categories (which have increased 1% or remained stagnant) between 1998-2014.

     Why oh why?
  There are many things one can attribute to the lovely ladies that are interested in this wonderful art form closeting themselves from the industry. One in specific I'd like to focus on is how women are often written out of film history. For example, even in our hallowed halls of Ithaca College, we face male dominated tales of cinematic genius. Though, there are some pretty influential ladies who are responsible for shaping the art of filmmaking as well. 

Alice Guy Blaché 
The first female director - a key figure in the development of narrative film
(Wait, who? I've never had to study her name or achievements for a test...)
In conclusion the odds of me finding film employment after college is slim and even if I make waves with anything I create, I'll most likely be ignored historically. 

Yet... I haven't filled out any paperwork to transfer schools or majors. While the odds of me making it are repulsively slim... I'm going to continue creating and pushing forward. Film-making is underestimated and difficult stuff, but the outcome is one that cannot be explained into words. Maybe the film didn't turn out as grand or funny or shocking as you had hoped, but I bet something worthwhile blossomed from the experience that wouldn't have blossomed if we said, "naaah it'd never work." 
     Our deadlines are quickly approaching and I encourage everyone, both ladies and gentlemen, to stick with this. The road ahead is demanding and holds minimal time for sleeping and perhaps the road further ahead holds an eleven percent chance for employment but... keep at it? I know I will whether my budget is four million dollars or just four hundred. 

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