21st Century Fox Launches Mentoring Program for Female Directors

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21st Century Fox will try to bolster the presence of women behind the camera through a new mentoring program.

The media giant and Fox Audience Strategy launches the Fox Global Directors Initiative this week, which it says will help add a female perspective and diverse voices across film, broadcast, cable and digital programming.

“To connect with viewers today, we need stories that represent the amazing range of experiences and voices in the real world. Along with writers, the vision of directors is key as they obviously bring those stories to life through their own lens,” said Joe Earley, Fox Broadcasting Co. chief operating officer.

Despite a few high-profile exceptions such as “Zero Dark Thirty’s” Kathryn Bigelow, “Girls'” Lena Dunham and “Top of the Lake’s” Jane Campion, female auteurs are few and far between. Women comprised 6% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2013, a decrease of 3 percentage points from 2012, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. The picture is slightly brighter on television, cable and Netflix, where women comprise 23 percent of creators, the center reports.

Twenty participants will be selected to join a five-week directors lab. At the end of the lab, five finalists will be selected to receive additional instruction lasting roughly 10 months, culminating in production support and funding for a Fox-branded short. The program is spearheaded by Nicole Bernard, exec VP of Fox Audience Strategy, a unit that spans the studio’s film and TV divisions.

“The cross-divisional enthusiasm to launch this initiative speak to our commitment to drive industry change and we hope that stellar creative arts organizations across the globe will be equally excited to join us,” Bernard said.

The helmers initiative will enlist creative talent across its entertainment holdings as instructors — a group that includes Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX, Fox Broadcasting Company and Twentieth Century Fox Film. Fox has a similar program in place for developing writing talent. For more information, see Fox Audience Strategy.

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  1. Nicole says:

    Would love to see a program like this for Female Camera Operators, DPs or Gaffers. We need some love to for those of us that like these departments.

  2. Just because says:

    Anyone knows what the link for the application forms? or whats the process?

  3. Wendy Haines says:

    Inspiring! Happy to see FOX stepping up to move things forward in this important arena!

  4. Tayler says:

    I would really like more information on this program and how to apply.

  5. Interesting says:

    Great to see an initiative like this taking place. Seems like this one has the potential to actually make a real impact!

  6. This is great, I would like to see more of this in the industry. It would probably be more helpful if individuals in the industry take some people under their wing. I feel it would gives that individual more credibility.

    • Advice says:

      Sue them for fraud and loss of earnings and female directors stay far away unless you want your career to be put on hold for a year and to be used as a hen.

  7. Disgusted says:

    So glad I am helping you develop your business. Shame u didn’t come through with your promises though. If you had my year would have been very different by now.

    • Disgusted says:

      If you had the industry would have had another experienced female director by now instead of someone being used to enhance your business instead of doing what they really wanted to do.

      • Advice says:

        They promised me a budget six months ago for a production they never introduced me to the person they promised too and I never got my chance to direct. Female directors be warned be careful coz they used me to enhance their business and did not provide a budget for nothing. I am a female.

      • Disgusted says:


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