Are girly men freezing women out of Hollywood?
The Oscars in numbers make grim reading for women in film: 248 films eligible for best picture, 5,755 Oscar voters, 500 feet of red carpet – and 0 women nominated for best director. But that’s not to say there isn’t hope. Speaking at the programme launch for BEV 2011, Rosamund Pike issued a call to arms to be “gloriously, attractively, sexily ambitious” in combating the film industry’s imbalance of opportunities for male and female filmmakers. Read on to watch her speech in full…
Among the many triumphs at last night’s Oscars was Susanne Bier’s In A Better World, which picked up the award for Best Foreign Language Film ahead of its London premiere at Birds Eye View. But the 83rd Academy Awards were mixed news for women filmmakers – despite nominations for Lucy Walker’s documentary Waste Land (whose Countdown to Zero has a special preview at this year’s Festival), Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right and Deborah Granik’s Winter’s Bone, none of the three directors – or indeed Bier herself – received individual nominations, prompting the Guardian to describe Granik and Cholodenko as having been “ignored” by the panel and Slate.com’s Dana Stevens to describe the films themselves as relegated to the status of “great film – who directed it again?”
So while we should celebrate Bier’s success and the nominations for Walker, Granik and Cholodenko’s films, we should asking be asking whether the nominations are not themselves symptomatic of a continuing gender imbalance in the film industry; and if they are, what can women filmmakers do to combat it? Speaking at the programme launch of the 2011 Birds Eye View Film Festival, Rosamund Pike underlined the need for women in the film industry not to be afraid or in any way ashamed of their ambition. “If we really want to change the game, we have to set aside our notions that ambition and competitiveness are unseemly, and allay our indignation when confronted with it. We can convert sexism into competition. We compete healthily, show our feminine sides while being gloriously, attractively, sexily ambitious.”
Click below to watch Rosamund Pike’s speech in full, and here to find out more about this year’s Festival, from 8 – 17 March at BFI Southbank, Southbank Centre and the ICA. And of course, you can catch the Birds Eye View awards – presented by Meera Syal, Joely Richardson and Kerry Fox, after our Closing Night film Tiny Furniture on March 17th.