Creative England and Women and Hollywood hosted an evening for representatives from across the industry, including BBC Films, Women in Film & TV, Warner Brothers, BAFTA, Silver Salt Films and Kaleidoscope Film Distribution, among many others.
They were joined by a panel of some of the hottest producers in the industry; Rosie Alison (Testament of Youth); Hanan Kattan (Despite the Falling Snow); Cairo Cannon (The Falling); and Chanya Button (Burn Burn Burn). The panel discussed their experiences of producing and selling women-centric content, offering advice for members of the audience on how to support this kind of content in the industry.
Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women and Hollywood, said: “The data shows that stories about women, even ones directed by women, perform well at the box office. They make money.
“Women make up half of the world. We’re not asking for all the stories to be about women. Just half of them. We should not be satisfied with where we are now. We still have a long way to go.”
Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO Creative England, said: “There is a nonsensical notion that backing women-centric films is ‘risky’ because they won’t appeal to a mainstream market. You only need to look at box office hits like The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars to know that this is not the case.
“The evidence shows that content by women, and about women, is hugely successful and highly profitable, so it seems madness that only 30.9 per cent of all speaking characters in film are female1 and 13.4 per cent of UK films are written by women2. The industry must open its eyes and start backing films with female protagonists.”
1 Gender Bias without Borders http://seejane.org/wp-content/uploads/gender-bias-without-borders-executive-summary.pdf
2 BFI’s Succès de plume? http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/bfi-report-on-female-writers-and-directors-of-uk-films-2013-11.pdf
When: Tuesday 1st December, 2015
Where: The Hospital Club, London