'Your country knows how to get up in arms!' - Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke ahead of launch of Women in Film and Television Ireland
The Irish arm of international organisation Women in Film and Television launches in Dublin today (Wednesday) and Twilight director Catherine Hardwick has voiced her support by encouraging women in the industry to get involved.
“It’s time to make some noise. Come on! Your country knows how to get up in arms!” she said as the Irish branch extends from the international organisation which already boasts more than 10,000 members.
The organisation aims to advance the professional development and achievement of women working in all areas of film, television and screen-based media.
In recent years statistics have shown that women are terribly under-represented in the industry.
The Sundance Institute, The Geena Davis Institute and Women in Film and TV International have reported that only 4% of Hollywood's big budget directors are women and that of last year’s mainstream film releases only 12% featured female lead roles.
Despite an equal gender split of film-school graduates and film festival award-winners, the organisation is interested in determining why the ‘Big Six’ Hollywood studios are hiring almost exclusively male directors from amongst these festival winners.
Rachel Lysaght, Chair WFT, award-winning producer of One Million Dubliners, Patrick’s Day and The Pipe, says, “It’s not a case of ‘where are all the talented women?’ We need to re-frame the question - why are we over-representing men’s stories and voices on-screen? What pro-active steps can we take to redress the balance, and reinvigorate our industry, our culture and our economy? We want to see equal representation of women on Irish screens and equal representation in the projects written, directed and executed by women in the Irish film industry."
Last year the Swedish film industry achieved 50:50 gender equality, and their box office grew.
The Irish leg of the organisation has been formed by a group of award-winning Irish film and television makers including producers, editors, screenwriters, directors and actors.
Women in Film and TV Ireland is now open to members among the professional women working in the Irish film and TV industry. Monthly events, networking, mentoring and special offers including affiliation with the international branches will be available to members.
For more information check out www.wft.ie