×

Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets.

The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based on a three-year average. The KPI was set in December 2015, and originally aimed for 50%. The KPI considered the key creative roles of writer, director, producer, and in the case of narrative content (drama), the protagonist.

The new target is to have 50% of the key creatives across all projects that receive Screen Australia development and production funding to be women, measured across a three-year-average. For the new KPI, the key creatives are directors, writers and producers and the tracking period is 2019/20 to 2021/22. From August 2020, the agency will also publish the headcount breakdown of key creative roles for feature drama, television drama, online drama and documentary, as a means of identifying areas which require targeted assistance.

“The new KPI will be measured across all projects and on a headcount basis, which should be more transparent,” Joana Werner, a leading independent producer and Screen Australia board member, told Variety.

Popular on Variety

Werner said that while there is room for progress, the Gender Matters initiative with its A$5 million funding, along with changes to Screen Australia’s story development guidelines, have had tangible impact. “The conversation has changed. Go into any writers’ room now and they will be asking (gender) questions,” she said. In July 2016, A$3.7m was distributed to fund the development of 45 female-driven stories and 13 female-driven businesses.

A large number of female-directed Australian films are due for commercial and festival release. They include Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” (already on release in North America), Rachel Griffiths’ “Ride Like A Girl,” Shannon Murphy’s Venice festival-bound “Babyteeth,” Mirrah Foulkes’ “Judy and Punch” and Sophie Hyde’s “Animals.” The upcoming Toronto film festival will see premieres of Unjoo Moon’s Helen Reddy biopic “I Am Woman” and Rachel Perkins’ TV series “Black B*tch.”

“And if you look at TV, which is completely driven by the number of eyeballs watching, we’ve had a heap of Australian (shows) that are female-led successes,” said Werner. “They include: ‘Offspring,’ ‘Wentworth,’ which is in its eighth season, ‘Sea Change,’ which has just been rebooted, ‘The Letdown,’ and an upcoming series for Foxtel ‘The End,’ in which females are front and center in the creative roles and in the lead roles.”

More Film

  • DSCF0855.RAF

    'Jumanji 2' Rules Overseas Box Office With $85 Million

    Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” powered international box office charts, collecting $85 million from 34 markets over the weekend. The action-packed sequel kicked off in North America with $60 million for a global start of $145 million. “Jumanji: The Next Level” debuted in a handful of foreign territories last weekend, bringing box office receipts to [...]

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS:

    Disney Plus Signs Exclusive Distribution Deal With Canal Plus in France

    Ahead of its launch in France on March 31, 2020, Disney Plus has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Canal Plus Group, the country’s leading pay-TV company. The deal, which was first reported in the French newspaper Les Echos and confirmed by Canal Plus Group CEO Maxime Saada on his Twitter account, marks a new [...]

  • French movie actress Anna Karina smiles

    Anna Karina, French New Wave Star and Jean-Luc Godard Collaborator, Dies at 79

    French New Wave star Anna Karina, who served as a muse for Jean-Luc Godard and appeared in eight of his films, has died. She was 79. France’s culture minister, Franck Reister, announced her death in a tweet, as did her agent, Laurent Balandras, who attributed the cause as cancer. “Her gaze was the gaze of [...]

  • Frozen 2

    'Frozen 2' Sets Record as Disney's Sixth Movie to Hit $1 Billion in 2019

    “Frozen 2” is the sixth Disney movie this year to hit $1 billion globally, strengthening the studio’s sheer dominance over the box office. Those ticket sales extend the benchmark Disney set over summer, with five other films — “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King” and “Captain Marvel” — joining the billion-dollar club [...]

  • Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black

    Box Office: 'Jumanji 2' Levels Up With $60 Million Debut, 'Richard Jewell' Stumbles

    It’s shaping up to be a merry holiday season for “Jumanji: The Next Level.” Sony’s adventure sequel debuted in first place to $60.1 million, dethroning “Frozen” after three consecutive weeks as box office champ. Those ticket sales, arriving at the higher end of industry projections, represent a healthy jump on the $36 million start of [...]

  • My Zoe

    'My Zoe': Film Review

    There are two films in Julie Delpy’s ambitious, sharply-made but unbalanced “My Zoe.” There’s the scabrous relationship melodrama, about bitter exes sharing custody of a beloved child, which contains the story’s most potent emotions. And there’s the sci-fi-inflected ethical-dilemma grief movie, which houses its most provocative ideas. Both have much to recommend them, not least [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    The Big Lie of 'Richard Jewell' (Column)

    For a man who was so enraged at the administration of Barack Obama that he spent his 2012 Republican Convention speech lecturing an empty chair, Clint Eastwood has made a number of conventional, level-headed — one might even say liberal — political dramas. Films like “Invictus” and “J. Edgar” and “Midnight in the Garden of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content