“Gender Matters is unashamedly providing express-lane access to female business ideas and stories. The funding boost provided by Screen Australia has been a game-changer, providing the industry with an opportunity to get behind some very commercial and creative prospects. It’s now time for action.”
Meanwhile Gender Matters task force chair Deanne Weir stressed the importance of going outside of Screen Australia’s usually very rigid selection guidelines in order to find important emerging voices.
“What is significant is not just the number of applications we have been able to attract and support, but that the Gender Matters program has opened up funding opportunities for applicants who might otherwise fall outside of the established structures. For instance, nearly 20% of the successful Brilliant Stories teams would not normally be eligible for Screen Australia development funding because they do not have that magic first professional credit. Although there are good reasons for these checks and balances, by opening the door a little wider, Screen Australia is showing faith in the potential of many female filmmakers. I absolutely believe that the opportunities being created today will have a resounding effect on our screen industry for many years to come.”
The program was founded to address the rampant disparity in the industry, which currently only sees female representation in about 32% of working producers, 23% of writers, and just 16% of directors in the Australian film and TV industries.
- Rachel Griffiths directorial debut in ‘Ride Like a Girl,’ a feature film based on Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.
- A romantic comedy film from Nakkiah Lui featuring an interracial couple entitled ‘Kill the Messenger.’
- Kat Stewart‘s TV writing debut in ‘The Elementals,’ about a group of washed-up superheroes living together in a sharehouse.
- ‘Sex in the West,’ a 1hr comedy/drama series focusing on three Arab, Muslim, and Christian female friends living in modern Western Sydney.
- ‘Sheilas,’ a web series from Giant Dwarf and Hannah and Eliza Reilly, playfully celebrating the forgotten badass women of Australian history.
- ‘Funny Rabbit,’ a dark comedy series from Biddy O’Laughlin about the human condition as told through the eyes of a rabbit named Bill.