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Oct 9, 2015 2:00 PM
Oct 9, 2015 1:49 PM
Festival director Clare Stewart has declared this year “the year of the woman”. Yesterday, industry delegates assembled for a Global Symposium on Gender in Media, hosted by the Geena Davis Institute in partnership with the BFI and Women in Film and TV. The three-hour conference brought together industry leaders from Film4, Google and the House of Lords alongside Geena Davis herself. Here are nine things Simran Hans took away from the event.
Credit: John Philips
“I have to be careful about what I get involved in, because whatever I do, I want to go to the Olympics in it.”
At 43 years old, Geena Davis qualified for the semi-finals of the Olympic trials… in archery.
“Just 17% of crowds are female on film.”
From live action to animation, only a tiny silver of the people onscreen are women. “Perhaps Hollywood directors think women don’t gather,” quipped Davis.
“In G-rated films, animated female characters wear the same amount of sexually revealing clothing (as they do) in R-rated movies.”
As well as lamenting sexualised depictions of women in film, Davis also commented on their unrealistic bodies. “Their waists are so small… Could you even fit a spinal cord in there?”
“It would be easier if I wrote about Klingons than if I wrote about black people.”
Go out there and look at people, and see everyone as a human being, encourages the director of Gone Too Far.
“Try to be a category of one.”
The former head of Columbia Pictures and producer of documentary He Named Me Malala advices film professionals to stop trying to change themselves, and to embrace what they can bring to the industry as individuals.
“I wanted to make a gangster film from the female gaze because… Why the f*** not?”
The Indo-Canadian director of Beeba Boys tells the audience that she is bored of writing about women.
“Men don’t always have to be heroes.”
The Suffragette writer argues that writing complex female characters can open up space for complex male characters too.
“Having more men and women’s stories makes life richer for everyone.”
The head of Film4 urges women to tell their stories, because a plurality of voices enhances film culture overall.
“Gender parity can be fun, easy, creative, fast and eminently doable.”
Gender equality in the media doesn’t have to be boring.