When I’m planning my year’s content, events like International Women’s Day are always a bit of a catch-22. I recognise that they are essential, as they can be a unifying moment to bring focus on some of the integral issues of disparity that need to be addressed, but these are topics that really should be addressed throughout the whole year.
And let’s be real… JUST ONE DAY? Really?
As a queer, gender-diverse person myself, I know the feeling when someone from marketing comes and asks you to add to your already busy schedule to do some free labour to discuss your opinions on problems that you’re already well too aware of.
So I won’t be doing that.
Instead, I wanted to give a spotlight to some of the amazing organisations that already exist and are doing the work to champion women in film, animation and production so that people can get involved.
Go follow. Go listen. Go support.
All year round.
Awards, Funds & Publications
Founded by Francesca R Zerenghi in 2018, Cinegirl is an independent magazine that features talent from the film and TV industry who are female-focused (but not exclusive) and covers a whole range of topics relevant to all aspects of the industry.
Their Cinegirl club is free to join and offers access to events and quarterly newsletters, which I highly recommend. You can access their Winter ‘22 issue starring costume designer Camille Adomakoh online now.
Future of Film is Female
Future of Film is Female is a US-based organisation that offers a short-film fund to help amplify the voices of women and non-binary filmmakers as well as holding exhibitions, events and community-building programmes.
The Shiny Awards are not specifically female-centred but are a celebration of emerging commercial directors with a key focus on groups that are often underrepresented in commercial production.
Charities & Organisations
Girls in Film
GiF is an international organisation that represents, champions and connects the new generation of female, non-binary and trans creatives in the film industry. They are an online community and video platform, but also host regular events at their London-based chapter.
Women in Film & Television UK
WFTV (UK) is the leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK and is part of an international network of over 12,000 women. They host a variety of online and offline events throughout the year and hold an annual awards ceremony.
Animated Women UK
Founded in 2013, AWUK aims to ‘positively support, represent, celebrate and encourage women’ across all disciplines in the animation and VFX industries in the UK. Members get access to industry-specific research and access to events held at their London chapter as well as their regional chapters in Scotland and The SW of England.
AWUK also run the Helen North Achieve Programme, which is designed to build participants’ strategic career management and to address real challenges and barriers in order to help women in animation and FX fulfil their potential.
600 Black Women
600 Black Women showcases the 90 Black Women and Nonbinary People of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IASTE) Local 600 — an International Cinematographer’s Guild.
Their mission is to create a more inclusive industry and they are dedicated to assisting the next wave of not only black women-identifying filmmakers but creative voices and especially women, gender non-conforming, queer, immigrant, and BIPOC voices.
Made in Her Image
Founded in 2018, Made In Her Image is a non-profit organisation that is working toward social equity within the film industry by empowering girls and non-conforming gender youth of colour with media literacy and providing girls with the opportunity to create their own vision within the realms of film through programming, camps, workshops and more.
Birds Eye View
Birds Eye View is a UK-wide charity with a mission to ‘bring a broader perspective of the world through cinema’ and aims to build a community of people who make, show, release and watch films by women and non-binary people.
Their project #ReclaimTheFrame brought together a network of 19+ cinemas in 15 cities across the UK and they offer training and support to those in the industry through advocacy, investment, mentoring and events.
She Says is a global organisation running monthly events and facilitating mentorship schemes for female-identifying and non-binary people across all creative industries.
They have 6 UK chapters based in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Manchester, Scotland and London — which was the largest chapter worldwide consisting of over 6000 members.
Women Behind The Camera
This website is a showcase for the many women working behind the camera in the UK feature film and TV drama sectors of the industry so that it can be used as a resource to help producers and DoPs develop more diverse crews.
Primetime is a directory of women and non-binary talent working above and below the line in production in the UK, as well as a directory of men and non-binary HODs, companies and agencies looking to hire or represent these voices.
Launched at Cannes Film Festival, and featured by Variety, Elle and BBC Culture they sum it up best really with their tagline “Addressing the gender imbalance within our industry, one badass woman at a time.”
illuminatrix and illuminatrix rising
Launched in 2016, illuminatrix is a collective of professional female cinematographers based in the UK and working internationally.
Their leading database ‘illuminatrix’ is for those that have at least five years of experience as a DoP, but their off-shoot illuminatrix rising showcases the new generation of emerging cinematographers.
Cinesisters is a volunteer-run collective of female-identifying directors working across film, TV and commercials. Their goal is to share their experience and resources with each other in order to create more films by and about women and run monthly masterclasses and writer’s groups, as well as help support each other’s releases.
If you’re interested in applying, you can do so via their website if you are a female-identifying director who has either:
- Made a feature film
- Has a broadcast
- Made at least three short films
- Attached to a feature film that is in funded development / completed their first draft
Look Beyond The List
So, I’ve left this one to the last on the list because honestly, it’s a much better resource than I could have put together.
Look Beyond The list is an entire site dedicated to resources for underrepresented groups working behind the camera in scripted TV and film, primarily focused on the UK but with a worldwide reach. The site includes talent lists, support groups, social action links and more to promote inclusivity and equity.
Honestly, a treasure trove of information.
Add it to your favourites.
This by no means is an exhaustive list, but hopefully, it’s useful to some of you reading. If there are any that you think I have missed and deserve a shoutout, drop me an email.