A new video released by the Sundance Film Festival makes a powerful case for the importance of female voices in film and television, including inspiring bits of wisdom from women spanning generations (Jane Fonda and Saorise Ronan) and professions (creator of “Orange is the New Black” Jenji Kohan and actress/writer Kristen Wiig).
Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer of the Sundance Film Festival, sets the scene by sharing the bleak and telling statistics about gender coming out of Hollywood, namely the dearth of female directors.
Three years ago, the Sundance Institute partnered with Women in Film Los Angeles to form Sundance’s Women’s Initiative. The Initiative is working towards a specific goal — raising the number of women directors at Sundance to 50%. This year, 36% of Sundance Competition films were directed by women.
Libresco emphasizes the importance of offering support to women directors, and explains how the Sundance Institute Labs help to effect change. The same percentage of women filmmakers in the Lab complete their films and are accepted into the top film festivals as their male counterparts, leading Libresco to conclude that female directors “are punching their weight at exactly the same rate [as males] when given support.”
“The only way to create systemic change in our industry is to work collectively,” argues Libresco.
Be sure to check out our extensive coverage of female filmmakers at Sundance 2015, including interviews with festival winners Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?,”) Kim Longinotto (“Dreamcatcher,”) and Jennifer Phang (“Advantageous”).