I love the Raising Films site and the women who created it.
Raising Films is visionary and absolutely necessary, building a frank-and-fearless community discussion around Family vs Film and developing a rich archive of illuminating and useful information for women filmmakers everywhere. Among other synergies, Raising Films is now associated with the European Women's Audiovisual Network and the Parents in Performing Arts campaign. And the makers – some of them mothers – provide an excellent model of being activists while also getting on with their individual work.
The women who run Raising Films are– Hope Dickson Leach, now shooting her first feature, The Levelling, funded by the iFeature programme (BBC Films, BFI and Creative England); Line Langebek, co-writer of I'll Come Running among other credits and a screenwriting teacher at Regent's University; prolific producers Nicky Bentham and Jessica Levick; writer Sophie Mayer whose Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema has just been launched; and Nathalie Wreyford, former Senior Development Executive at the UK Film Council and for Granada Films, whose PhD explored why there are so few women screenwriters and why the numbers aren’t changing and who is now a Research Fellow on Calling the Shots: Women in the UK Film Industry 2000-2015, the most comprehensive study of women working in the UK film industry so far.
Here's how they describe Raising Films–
Women continue to struggle for representation across the film industry globally. One social barrier particularly affects women, although it applies to everyone: Family vs. FilmRaising Films on Facebook & Twitter
We believe conversations make change happen, and we want things to change. We are losing too much talent to the choice many filmmakers are forced to make, between being a parent and making films. We don’t believe this choice is necessary, but rather a product of social and economic conditions, and we want to start a conversation about how change can be made for filmmakers who want to have a family and continue their careers.
This is about development, sustainability and diversity. Raising Films aims to address one of the issues that prevents many female filmmakers from pursuing their careers, to enable filmmakers with families to keep working and feel supported during demanding times in their personal lives, and to challenge at a structural level the demands the film industry makes of all of us.
Every single item on Raising Films has enriched me, but the interview with Dukhtar writer/director Afia Nathaniel is one of my favourites, because I'm waiting for Dukhtar here in New Zealand, along with Amy Berg's Janis: Little Girl Blue, Gina Prince-Bythewood's Beyond the Lights, Julie Dash's Illusions (yes, it's been a long wait!), Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog and many others. When-oh-when will Australasian distributors take women-directed work more seriously?
Many thanks to Raising Films for letting me cross-post this interview.