5 Reasons Why We Need More Female Filmmakers

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There are so many reasons we need females and more diversity in film. Perhaps instead of calling for more female filmmakers, we should call for more filmmakers who are female. Women to write the screenplays, set the stage, select the actors, produce, and edit the work. Each hand that touches the film affects its outcome. We all have a story to tell and we all have a talent or passion to share with the world. What better way to explore your own mind than to make it into a film?

I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.
-Frida Kahlo

1. We need more amazing movies like these:

Without these amazing filmmakers, we’d be missing out on the following films: The Hurt Locker, Lost in Translation, An Education, Me You and Everyone We Know, Winter’s Bone, and my personal favorite, Now and Then.


2. We all know there is a Hollywood problem.

In the last 10-12 years only 4% of the top grossing movies were directed by women. Sundance Film Festival recently looked at their data and found that in the same time period 25% of their U.S. directors were female. Sundance is currently working to get those numbers up to 50%. Caroline Libresco of Sundance observes that when women are supported they produce films at the same rates as their male counterparts.Not to mention the issue of having women actors with meaningful roles in the films. The Bedchel test determines if a film features at least two women, having a conversation, about something other than men. Only about half of all films pass this test.


3. We are in the midst of a global feminine shift.

You do not have to look far to see women talking about feminism, intersectionality, diversity, motherhood, supporting women, spiritual awakening, goddesses and priestesses, or any other aspect of life as an identified woman. These voices are rising up and want to be heard, and people want to hear those voices. Women are telling their stories in new and amazing ways, film can and should be at the forefront of that. Women are also gathering and supporting each other through networks like Film Fatales.


4. We need more honest conversations about girlhood and womanhood.

As a parent of two young daughters, I am keenly aware of the images that my daughters see. They are already putting together gender norms by age three. They form ideas of romantic love by age four. As a former adolescent myself, I know that it only gets worse and how helpful it is to see other people navigating the world in ways that make sense to you but also show you a different way of dealing.


5. They are already doing it and we need to support their work.

What can we do to support female filmmakers? We can watch their movies (here are some suggestions).
Attend film festivals and give mad love to women filmmakers. Cheer on your friends who are making movies. Talk about rad female filmmakers on social media. Give to their crowdfunding. Of course, it’s always a good idea to listen when people are talking. Give them your full attention and encourage their dreams.

IndieFilm NYC aims to assist diverse voices be heard, to help you get your film off the ground or help get you started. Are you a female filmmaker? Do you feel like you have something to say about diversity in filmmaking? Do you need help getting things started in your filmmaking process? It is our mission to link the art and business of filmmaking and we are here to engage and support up and coming filmmakers.



Here are a few links to some resources that might be helpful to female filmmakers:

Film Fatales

Film Fatales is a network of women filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive community in which to make their films.

Women in Film

Women In Film is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for women, encouraging creative projects by women, and expanding and enhancing portrayals of women in all forms of global media.

Women Make Movies

Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. The organization provides services to both users and makers of film and video programs, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color.

Women At Sundance

Sundance Institute, together with Women in Film Los Angeles and a community of allied organizations, works to foster gender equality in American cinema by supporting female filmmakers to develop their stories, find audiences for their work, and grow and sustain their careers.


Advice To Beginning Female Filmmakers by Elle Schneider & Lily Cade


NYFF52: “Last Days” Panel with Kathryn Bigelow



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Written by Chelsey Erpelding- a Midwestern gal who believes we all deserve to be heard and seen.


*Image by Charlie Campbell “Meet Victoria Sou — Creative Director” ©2013, used under creative commons license.


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