Short director Dalton chooses to shadow Eyre

LONDON — Bafta-winner Hattie Dalton, the latest beneficiary of the Directing Change opportunities scheme — designed to boost the number of female helmers working in Blighty — has been chosen to work closely with Richard Eyre on “Notes From a Scandal.”

Directing Change, launched by Women in Film and Television and distrib UIP in 2003, offers wannabe femme helmers a chance to work alongside an established director on a major production.

The scheme has seen docmaker Shreepali Patel shadow Roger Michell on Pathe pic “Enduring Love” and Tammy Riley-Smith work with John Madden on Miramax’s “Proof.”

But although both have had some subsequent success — Patel’s short “Dawn” screens at the 2005 Edinburgh film festival and Riley-Smith has penned “Constance,” a drama set during the suffragette movement — neither has yet directed a feature.

Dalton has more runs on the board than either of her two predecessors.

Dalton’s short “The Banker” scooped a Bafta in 2005 and she has already notched up technical experience working as a first assistant editor and assembly editor on Matthew Vaughn’s “Layer Cake” and Stephen Woolley’s “Stoned.”

Women directors remain severely under-represented in the U.K. film industry. Just 49 of the 696 features (8%) produced in the U.K. in the past five years were directed by women, according to the British Film Institute.

Women are also not getting a proportional cut of the coin: BFI stats show that although 12% of pics made in the U.K. in 2004 were directed by women, women took home only 3.6% of the aggregate budget.

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