Category: news

France Introduces Incentives For Film Industry to Hire More Women

Françoise Nyssen, the French Culture Minister, announced on Thursday (20 September) that financial incentives to persuade film productions to hire more women are to be introduced. This announcement follows on from the pledge Nyssen made at the Cannes Film Festival, and is part of a package of gender-related measures. “I believe in financial incentives” she said.

It will see films offered a bonus of up to 15%. Projects will be rated according to a points system — such as one point per female director, one point per female screenwriter, etc — and films that achieve eight points would be eligible for the maximum increase of 15%.

Nyssen said that currently fewer than one in six films would qualify.

Read more via Screen Daily here.

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Under-Representation of BAME Directors in UK TV Highlighted in New Directors UK Report

Directors UK has today (Thursday 20th September) launched its new report on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) directorial representation in UK television. In Adjusting the Colour Balance, they reveal that despite some negligible improvement over the last few years, BAME directors still face chronic levels of under-representation and under-employment.

Key findings include:

– Between 2013 and 2016, just 2.22% of UK television programmes were made by BAME directors. This is despite 14% of the UK population having a BAME background.

– There was an increase of just 0.11 percentage points in the amount of television directed by BAME directors – going from 2.2% in 2013 to 2.31% in 2016.

– Only 3.6% of directors featured in our dataset come from BAME backgrounds.

– No broadcaster made a significant improvement on diversity in the four-year period. The BBC, ITV and Channel 5 saw marginal increases, whilst Channel 4 saw a slight decline.

– The genres in which there have been workplace interventions saw the biggest improvement; continuing drama rose by 3 percentage points, while single drama rose by 3.6 percentage points.

As a result of their findings, Directors UK is calling on broadcasters to set targets to ensure their workforce mirrors the UK population by 2020, and for them to commit 0.25% of their commissioning spend across all programme making as a levy to fund industry access and career development schemes for underrepresented groups.

They are also calling on the industry to adopt fairer recruitment practices by having broadcasters build certain provisions into their commissioning contracts. This includes provisions for unconscious bias training, regular networking, external job adverts and written references for freelancers.

And they call on Ofcom to make it mandatory for broadcasters to monitor and publish the equality data for all their staff, both freelance and permanent.

Read more here.

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BFI and BBC Launch Born Digital New Talent Opportunity

Born Digital is an exciting opportunity for new and emerging filmmakers to realise their first broadcast project, with grants to be awarded to fund, or partly fund, up to 12 short films.

In 2019, BBC Arts, BBC Four and the BFI will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Inspired by this very special birthday, Born Digital is an exciting opportunity for new and emerging filmmakers to realise their first broadcast project, with grants to be awarded to fund, or partly fund, up to 12 short films.

If successfully selected by an expert panel, participants will be awarded a grant of between £3000 and £5000 towards the creation or completion of their original film. There will be the opportunity to have your film screened at BFI Southbank and for it to be broadcast on BBC Four in early Spring 2019 to mark the anniversary of the World Wide Web Foundation.

For more information and to apply, click here.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 16 October.

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Applications Now Open for Creative England’s Market Trader

Learn how to succeed at international markets with Market Trader, an intensive development programme for talented professionals from different parts of the film value chain looking to progress their career.

Market Trader will take place between November 2018 and April 2019, and activities include:

  • Three day pre-market workshop with leading industry figures from the worlds of production, sales and distribution
  • One day market preparation session
  • Three day guided market visit with access to mentor support throughout
  • One day market review session to maximise the traction achieved at market
    Three tailored mentoring sessions

Find out more and apply here.

The deadline for applications is Friday 5 October.

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Finnish Adventure!

Finnish adventure!

As you probably know we do get around a bit! This month some of our collective were in Finland, taking part in the Helsinki Comic and Zine festival, with our lovely table of feminist wares! We had a brilliant time and hope to make another visit next year. Find out more about the annual festival here.

Hello from our new Volunteer Coordinator

KatieHello from our new Volunteer Coordinator
“Hi all, my name is Katie and I am taking over from the wonderful Angele as the Feminist Library’s Volunteer Coordinator. I am really excited to take on this role and I am looking forward to meeting as many volunteers as I can over the coming weeks. Working together we can keep herstory alive through the Feminist Library!”
We are delighted to welcome Katie to this role. Do get in touch with her with any queries at

Win a pair of tickets to see Wise Children at The Old Vic!

Win a pair of tickets to see Emma Rice’s Wise Children at The Old Vic on Fri 12 October!

The Old Vic have kindly offered to run a ticket competition in partnership with the Feminist Library. One lucky Feminist Library follower will win a pair of tickets for the upcoming show, Wise Children, a brilliant adaptation of Angela Carter’s last novel.

To enter the competition please send your answer to the following question to by 30th September, with the email subject line ‘Angela Carter Competition’.  

Q: Which literary prize did Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus win in 1984?

*Tickets are valid on Fri 12 October only and subject to availability.

 About Wise Children:

 ‘Let’s have all the skeletons out of the closet, today, of all days!’

It’s 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday.

In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…

A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand.

Emma Rice (The Globe’s Romantics Anonymous and Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter) brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel, Wise Children, launching her new theatre company of the same name and its London residency at The Old Vic.

For more information on Wise Children, click here


New Women Returners Schemes from BBC and Sky

The BBC and Sky have become the first UK broadcasters to partner with Women Returners, an organisation that helps people who have had a career break of two or more years return to work. The schemes offer six-month paid placements, with returners encouraged to apply for permanent roles after their placement is over.

The BBC scheme is looking to recruit mid-to-senior roles in its design and engineering department, including technical architects and software engineers. Returners will be based in its London, Salford or Glasgow offices.

The Sky scheme is offering five placements for leadership roles across its advertising, sport, technology, finance and product departments.

Women Returners was co-founded by Julianne Miles, who trained as a business psychologist after taking a four-year career break. Speaking about the schemes, she said: “These are not programmes to help out women, they are about bringing strong, diverse talent into your organisation, driven by your business needs.”

ONS figures show that women make up 89% of those taking career breaks, and thus the issues faced in returning to the workplace disproportionately affect women. Often those who have taken a career break – whether it’s to have children, care for elderly relatives or for other reasons – lack confidence and worry that their skillset is out of date. Women Returners’ own research, conducted with PWC, found that three in five professional women return to lower-skilled or lower-paid jobs after a career break. Women Returners’ schemes aim to ensure women return to the work place at the level they should be at, and that companies don’t lose out on the talent and experience that returners can bring.

Find out more about the BBC scheme here.

Find out more about the Sky scheme here.

Find out more about Women Returners here.

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Professional development workshop at the 2018 BAM conference

Professional development workshop at the 2018 BAM conference: Working at the intersection of academia, archiving and activism.

On the 4th September representatives from the Feminist Library (FL) in London, Gail Chester and Magda Oldziejewska, alongside Feminist Archive North’s (FAN) Jalna Hanmer, and academics from St Andrews, Aston, Birmingham and Stirling Universities, participated in a workshop as part of the BAM 2018 conference at Bristol’s University of the West of England. The Library, along with FAN, introduced feminist libraries and archives (FLA) in the UK and talked about some of the unique practices of these organisations.

The FL, having been around since 1975, the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement, has since accumulated over 7,000 books, 1,500 periodical titles and countless items of archival material and ephemera, among them innumerable titles on women in education, feminist educational practices, women in management and business.

FAN archive contains a wealth of contemporary material in local, regional, national and international collections donated by individuals and organisations, including conference papers, pamphlets, journals, newsletters, dissertations, oral history interviews, audio tapes, films, posters, badges, t-shirts and banners.

However, far from these being like regular libraries and archives, the importance of understanding the FLA resources in the context of where they come from was highlighted, i.e. the feminist theories and practices key to the management and survival of these resources: collective working, intersectionality, diversity, and a focus on accessibility.

The stimulating resulting discussion focused on the importance of preserving/uncovering the lesser known/hidden voices of women, and at least one attendee was inspired to conduct her own research into this under-explored area, focusing on women’s work in Turkey in the Middle Ages. We were also encouraged to continue the conversation with the other contributors in the lunch break afterwards, and we are hopeful that further collaborations will result out of these discussions.

Only 10% of U.S. TV Programmes Directed by Women

Now in its 21st year, the Boxed In study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film provides the most comprehensive historical record of women’s representation and employment in U.S. television available. Overall, the numbers are down this year.

Behind the scenes, women accounted for 27% of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and directors of photography, a decline of 1% from 2016-17. Overall, programmes employed behind-the-scenes women in relatively small numbers. For example, 69% of programmes employed five or fewer women in the roles considered. In contrast, only 13% of programmes employed five or fewer men.

Women fared best as producers (39%), followed by writers (27%). They comprised 26% of executive producers, 25% of creators, and 19% of editors. Women only accounted for 10% of directors and 3% of directors of photography.

On-screen, females comprised 40% of all speaking characters on dramas, comedies, and reality programmes appearing on the broadcast networks, premium and basic cable channels, and on streaming services. This represents a decline of 2% from 42% in 2016-17. Sixty-eight percent of programmes featured casts with more male than female characters in 2017-18. Eleven percent had ensembles with equal numbers of female and male characters, and 21% featured casts with more female than male characters.

Across all platforms, the percentage of Latina characters in speaking roles reached a historical high in 2017-18, accounting for 7% of all female characters (up from 5% in 2016-17), but they remain the most underrepresented ethnic group when compared to their representation in the U.S. population. Black characters remained steady at 19% of all female characters, and the percentage of Asian females remained unchanged at 6%.

Download the report here.

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