Brit orgs bolster femmes

Scheme places tyro helmers alongside vets

LONDON — The renewal of joint venture Directing Change, which bowed last year, underlines the dedication of partners Women in Film & Television and UIP to enhancing women’s chances of breaking into film directing.

Directing Change gives emerging female directors the chance to work alongside established helmers. Last year’s beneficiaries were Shreepali Patel, who worked with Roger Michell on the Pathe production of “Enduring Love,” based on Ian McEwan’s novel; and Tammy Riley-Smith, who shadowed John Madden on the Miramax feature “Proof.” The scheme assists the applicants financially throughout their placement.

Directing Change is an integral part of WFTV’s campaign to address the dearth of women in the British media.

“The under-representation of women in the more technical areas of filmmaking is symptomatic of a larger problem,” said Jane Cussons, chief executive of WFTV. “The really top jobs in U.K. media continue to evade women due to ancient views and perceptions which need updating.”

Cussons, buoyed by Sofia Coppola’s British Academy Film Award nomination for directing and writing “Lost in Translation,” added, “Wouldn’t it be great if she got an Oscar? It would be only the third director nom for a woman and the first for an American.”

UIP chairman-CEO Stewart Till said, “Directing Change is a significant step toward redressing the imbalance of female film directors working in our industry today, and I am delighted with how well the scheme has developed.”

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