We need to support and celebrate our female filmmakers - there's no two ways about it!
FACT: Kathryn Bigelow is the only female awarded an Academy Award for Best Direction.
Before her, only three women in more than eighty years were nominated for Best Direction. In the words of Australian filmmaker Jane Campion, a previous nominee: with five nominations per year over eighty years, "you do the math".
In fact, according to the Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film in 2011, women made up only 5% of directors in the top 250 domestic grossing films (U.S.), a 1% decrease from 2010, Bigelow's winning year, and almost half the percentage of women directors working in 1998. In the same year 38% of films employed no women in any major productions role (writing, producing, directing, editing or cinematography.)
The talent is there - Penny Marshall, Sofia Coppola, Debra Granik, Lisa Cholodenko, Gurinder Chadha, Mimi Leder, Mira Nair, Catherine Hardwicke, Nancy Meyers, Susanne Bier and Kimberly Peirce are just a few female filmmakers who are leading the way.
And helping our fellow female artists be heard and seen is the Seen & Heard Film Festival - a non-profit film festival, which launched in Sydney in 2009.
This unique film festival promotes women's filmmaking and brings to light industry prejudices that may not be so clear to wider audiences.
In 2014, Melbourne audiences are invited to take part in the festival for the first time!
This year's program showcases a diverse range of highly regarded classics and exciting new films by local and international artists and has been put together with the view to encourage greater discussion regarding women in film and to inspire better female representation in all aspects of filmmaking.