According to the NHS, our campaign baby is reaching its seventh month developmental markers, more or less: Raising Films is sitting up (supported by our fabulous Indiegogo donors) and getting ready for teething problems as we head into 2016, ready to make some noise. Next year will see the launch of our first Raising Films survey, live events to bring our membership together, and – along with our sister organisations PIPA and EWA – reports and campaigns to change the film industry.
And making that change possible, we’re very excited to introduce our new team member, Project Manager Laura Giles.
Laura brings her multitude of experience working as a producer, as a management consultant, and in marketing and communications at the BFI. Thanks to our amazing crowdfunders, who took us past our total, Laura will be leading Raising Films into its second year, and there are more team members to come…
When we started Raising Films in May, we knew that work/life balance issues, endemic sexism and creative solutions to both existed in the film industry. But we have been overwhelmed by the stories we’ve heard that exemplify both sides of that equation. In our testimonials and interviews, we’ve heard from creatives, cast, crew and beyond about the struggle to manage freelance work and parenting, whether emotionally or economically.
We heard from the children of working filmmakers and from filmmakers embarking on their journey as parents. We had lively and informative twitter chats about money, leaving your kids (for a shoot), and childcare in general. Then there was our first Raising Films’ screening as part of the heroic #DirectedbyWomen fortnight.
The experiment continues: Sheffield Doc/Fest have announced that they will be offering childcare for all delegates during their 2016 festival. 2015 was dubbed the Year of (Strong) Women in film, with Suffragette (Sarah Gavron) the first London Film Festival opening night gala directed by a woman in a decade (since Jane Campion’s In the Cut) — and star Romola Garai dropped our name during an interview with Stylist magazine!
Elsewhere, Women at Sundance are using research into the attrition of women working in film to call for systemic change and the BFI launched their new diversity strategy. There’s so much energy for a bold new direction for film, and we’re excited to be part of it.
In 2016, EWA (with the Eurimages gender working group, above) and Directors UK will be announcing the results of their in-depth surveys on women working across the film and television industry. We are interested to see how the issues that Raising Films has explored this year might be reflected in their findings, so we can work together to sustain the changes that have begun. Raising Films’ initiative has already been saluted in a new book, Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema.
We want to expand our membership, to hear more stories from parents and carers working across film and television, so that we have more evidence and ideas to take to our partner organisations and on which to build our strategies. But seven months ago, we couldn’t have imagined that our campaign would have become, first and foremost, a community. Thank you all for raising films.