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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WOMEN, DISTRIBUTION Female led film needed male star for funding

There have been a slew of stories over the past year about the unequal status of women in the film industry. I've highlighted and commented on a few, but really that's just spotlighting the tip of the iceberg.

This latest account of ingrained sexism highlights how deeply ingrained the attitudes and desires of distributors are. Seeking financing for a film, a female star finds blanket rejection until a male star is added to the package.

There we can see the primacy of the star as the continuing primary initial concern of a distributor (paying upfront, in advance of production, is often the funding device for Indies), with this added gender twist. Barring a few exceptions, race is likely to remain a factor too.

Will this change? The impact of the websites, social media and high profile media interventions by a growing number of stars, and that of the Sony hack revelations, are creating pressure for a fairer system - and in a numbers business it certainly won't pay to alienate half of your audience.

I wouldn't like to put a timescale on that though - and think it will take an organised boycott of a tentpole to make serious leeway, something that is hard to conceive of in 2015. The Hunger Games could have been that film - its a disgrace that the female star who drives the entire marketing effort is somehow not given the financially superior package to male co-stars, supporting players all in what has become a Jennifer Lawrence vehicle.

Olivia Wilde: It's harder to secure funding for female-led productions http://gu.com/p/4e3zv?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

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