Wednesday 17 July 2019

The Favourite screenwriter says it’s ‘disappointing’ more women are not recognised

Deborah Davis penned the movie with Tony McNamara.

Deborah Davis (PA)
Deborah Davis (PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The only female writer to be nominated for a screenplay Bafta has said it is “very disappointing” more women are not being recognised.

Deborah Davis, who penned the script for The Favourite with Tony McNamara, has been the lone woman on a number of high-profile shortlists for best screenplay.

Arriving at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, she told the Press Association: “It’s very disappointing. I can’t speak for the industry but I can only tell you that this film took as long as it did, from financing to production, because it was about a female triangle with three female leads, which is part of the same sort of battle.”

It is the sixth year in a row with no women included in the best director nominations at the Baftas.

Davis and McNamara are tipped to land an Oscar nomination for the period drama about Queen Anne – starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone – when they are announced on Tuesday.

She said: “I will be somewhere I can’t watch for a reason I can’t explain, but I’m absolutely not thinking about it all, but I’m very excited about the Bafta nomination.”

Davis added she is hopeful that the surge in popularity of streaming services will lead to an increase in production of female-led stories.

Talking about what drew her to examine this period in history, she said: “It totally captivated me because it was about women in power, and often queens throughout history, like Elizabeth I and Victoria, had male advisers, but this was a complex female triangle and once I found it I was never going to let it go.”

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