Last year I had a little rant to our friends at Women in Film and Television about the dearth of nominations for women at the major Awards ceremonies (read here). It is with enormous frustration that I’m having to repost this article, as for the second year running at BAFTA, there is not a single female Screenwriter nominated (for Adapted OR Original Screenplay).
Also, there is no female Cinematographer.
Or any female Composers.
And shockingly, no female Director.
The rest of the 2014 BAFTA nominations breaks down like this:
There is ONE female Editor (Scorsese’s regular collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker for “The Wolf of Wall Street”)
Of 21 nominees from the teams working in the Special Visual Effects category, only 2 are women: that works out to 9.5%
Of 23 nominees from the teams working in Sound Design, 3 are women: 13%
And women make up just 5 of the 17 nominees recognised as producers in the Best Film category: 29%
There is ONE all-female Producer team of Clio Barnard and Tracy O’Riordan nominated for Outstanding British Film, for their superlative “A Selfish Giant”, versus THREE all-male Producer teams in the same category of 6 films. However, it is overwhelmingly this category that remains the most mixed, with some 7 women out of the total 23 nominees working in Producer teams: a staggering 30%.
While this weekend's Golden Globes doesn't include the same number of technical awards as BAFTA, there is little difference in either the Directing or Screenplay categories, with no women recognised at all.
This does make me ponder on a much laughed about, though perhaps worryingly accurate notion that came up in numerous conversations with friends last year… Whether the reason that women end up in Producer roles is because it is the hardest job out of them all, requiring the most amount of hours / dedication / money / patience, taking the most flak from every direction, and frequently getting the least recognition? In other words, like being a mum to around 200 children for a year or so!
While I don’t believe gender pre-disposes anyone to a type of behaviour, I do believe women have been socialised to facilitate creativity, rather than to assert their own voices lest we be seen as “pushy”, “bossy”, “obsessive” or “controlling”. Is it easier then, to support the “dynamic”, “dedicated”, “inspired” work of a male peer than be tarnished with derogatory labels?
Whatever the psychology behind this continuing lack of equal representation across the categories in Awards ceremonies, we must recognise that these are oversights. Women make up 52% of the population, and are working in all areas of film. They must be rewarded and respected. Of course the business is mercenary and driven by profits, and 2013 stats have proven that strong, diverse and inspirational female characters onscreen are big money-makers at the box office. For real and lasting change in the industry the incredible female talent that exists behind the cameras must now be given a chance to shine.
For more about the onscreen representations of women in 2013, here is my recent article on Huffington Post.
Booking is also open to (female and male) writers wishing to enrol on my Writing Female Characters workshop on 29th January.
THE ONLY PLACE TO TALK ABOUT THE CRAFT OF SCRIPTWRITING.