The Los Angeles-based company announced on Wednesday that it is focused on creating opportunities for female directors in the commercial, music video, and branded spaces, while developing their voices as independent filmmakers working on their own projects. The goal is to address gender disparity within the commercial industry and create a new pipeline to expand creative opportunities for female directors.
“Women drive the economy through our buying power and influence, yet are only 10% of commercial directors,” Kheshgi said. “We saw this as an opportunity to create a space for women directors to speak directly to consumers through their work and artistry. Majority is a community of collaborators dedicated to cultivating and amplifying the careers of women in commercial and independent film.”
The venture had its inception at M&C Saatchi LA, where executive creative director Maria Smith has collaborated with Ker on productions.
“As the leader of the creative team in charge of hiring directorial talent, I’ve seen first-hand the disparity that exists in the ad industry,” Smith said. “Majority was born out of a need. As advertisers, we can and need to do more to create an industry that’s inclusive and geared toward helping talent succeed. I’m excited to see all of our worlds come together to do this in a way the industry has never seen before.”
Majority is an Institute Associate of the Sundance Institute. In 2019, the company plans to launch a creative lab for emerging female directorial talent to hone and strengthen their professional development.
A recent report by San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that in 2017, women made up 18% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing domestic films, up 1 percentage point from 2016.
Ker will serve as partner and executive producer at Majority. He has been involved with the careers of directors Gore Verbinski, Michel Gondry, and Melodie McDaniel, and his work includes collaborations with Coca-Cola, Nike, U2, Michael Jackson, Eminem, HBO, VH1, and the Coppolas.
Kheshgi is a three-time Sundance fellow, a two-time Tribeca All Access fellow, and the recipient of a Rockefeller/Media Arts fellowship. Her documentary “The Diplomat” was nominated for three Emmys. She also made “Project Kashmir” for Independent Lens and directed the comedic series “Divas of Karachi” for Indie Lens Storycast.