How does it really feel to be a woman in the film industry in 2016 ?
CBC Canada asked 7 Canadian women being celebrated at TIFF this year.
At the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this week, Telefilm Canada and Birks partnered for the 4th annual Birks Diamond Tribute, which honoured 12 women working in the Canadian film industry : directors Tracey Deer, Ann-Marie Fleming, April Mullen, Léa Pool and Ann Shin ; actors Amanda Crew, Caroline Dhavernas, Christine Horne, Sandra Oh and Jennifer Podemski; and scriptwriters Emma Donoghue and Marie Vien.
The women were selected by a pan-Canadian jury of 20 journalists and bloggers covering the world of arts, culture and entertainment, and collectively they certainly have much to celebrate. But looking at the 91 features to come out of Canada in 2013-’14, a study by ‘Women in View’ found that 22 per cent of those movies were written by women, and just 17 per cent were made by female directors. It’s clear that discussion surrounding the issues facing women in the industry needs to continue – which is why CBC Arts asked seven of the women being honoured at TIFF to chime in on what the Canadian industry can do to set a higher bar for women in film.
What do you think differentiates being a Canadian woman in film from being an American woman in film? What are the pros and cons ?
April Mullen: Being a Canadian woman in the entertainment industry has all the challenges you’d find crossing any border. The percentages are low across the board when it come to women in film and that’s a fact; however, I tend to focus on supporting and celebrating women that are succeeding and breaking through. I feel it is important to strive for more of a balance in terms of a female perspectives which includes all aspects : unique scripts and stronger female characters and directorial voices.
I believe if the younger generation starts to see celebrated women in film and awareness is amplified, then we are on track to give them the courage it takes to know it’s possible. If you see it, you believe. At a younger age this makes a huge impact for young creators. It is a long term goal where we now are the trailblazers to a more balanced industry.
What do you think we need to do as a collective industry — and society — to make Canada set the bar even higher for women in film ?
The bar is set high and we are here – now it’s time to allow creative freedom and be sure that Canadians see Canadian cinema and talent. Strive to foster a new generation of women and celebrate the ones that have been the trailblazers.
Who is another woman in film — Canadian or otherwise — that you really admire and why ?
Andrea Arnold. I just saw American Honey in Cannes and it shook my soul — I have not stopped thinking about the standout raw moments in that film.
Source : CBC Canada (19.09.2016)