The New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has launched a new series of initiatives aimed at combating the underrepresentation of women in the entertainment industry, including a $5 million fund for grants that will support female-centric film and theater projects and a script-writing competition for 30-minute pilot scripts.

With diversity and gender parity as ongoing topics of concern in the industry, the MOME initiatives, funded entirely by the city at a cost of $7.5 million over five years, include:

  • The MOME Women’s Fund for Film and Theater, which will shell out $5 million (over five years) in grants that will help fund the completion of film and theater projects by, for or about women.
  • Speed-funding for women filmmakers, through a film-finance lab event, akin to speed-dating, that will allow 50 filmmakers to meet investors and other funders for female-focused projects. The MOME Finance Lab will take place as part of the First Time Fest, and selected filmmakers will be invited to attend a pitch workshop.
  • The MOME Script-Writing Competition, for which  New York City writers can submit a 30-minute pilot script for an episodic series, based in New York and created by, for or about women. Two winning pilots will be chosen and produced by cinema grad students at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Both will air on city TV channel NYCLife. The Made in NY IFP Media Center will run the contest.
  • A initiative for women-focused programming and a weekly evening of shows focused on women on NYC Media channels. MOME already has produced two nonfiction series — “The Vanguard: Women in the Media” and”Her Big Idea” — for the programming block.
  • A report that analyzes the disparity between the careers of male directors and female directors. Called “Women in the Director’s Chair: The MOME Report on Fairness in the Film Industry,” the study is due to be released in fall 2016.

The new initiatives, announced by MOME commissioner Julie Menin with full details outlined on the MOME website, are part of an overall push by MOME to expand representation in the entertainment industry. They joins a roster of programs that include the Made in NY Writers Room and #NominateNYC, among others.