Continuing to promote gender equality
To the members of the Australian screen industry,
Gender equity has long been central to AFI | AACTA’s mission of recognising and supporting excellence; from our finest women in front of the camera to those excelling in the many critical crafts behind it, right across film, documentary and many key genres of television.
This is evidenced by many activities and choices made in 2016, some of which are detailed below.
The 2016 Member Events Program of year-round events hosted in Sydney and Melbourne featured a diverse range of filmmakers including 22 female screen practitioners who participated in live panel discussions following television and film screenings. A highlight on the Member Events calendar was the sold-out ‘Directing The Dressmaker’ masterclass with Jocelyn Moorhouse in conversation with Gillian Armstrong and Margaret Pomeranz.
The AACTA Awards are administered via a robust and transparent process which is benchmarked on the world-class models of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). This ensures that all entered productions meet the published criteria and all judging (undertaken by AACTA members via a series of juries and confidential individual member voting) is on merit alone.
Whilst composition of industry juries is complex (taking into account skills, experience, geography, age, conflicts etc.), AACTA have been pleased to achieve strong gender balance. AACTA invite the industry to become jurors each year and in this last Awards cycle, whilst 40% of all jury applicants were female, through affirmative action AACTA ultimately achieved a jury make up of 48% women.
Furthermore, the 2016 Feature Film Pre-Selection Jury was made up of 50% women. This jury reviews all the feature films that haven’t met the criteria for Direct Eligibility. In this last Awards cycle, from the 17 films that the Pre-Selection Jury considered, 7 went through to the competition to join the 21 directly eligible feature films, reaching a record 28 feature films in competition.
AFI | AACTA’s annual policy review incorporates all submissions we receive and further changes to feature film eligibility are forecast as the underlying production landscape continues to evolve. In 2016, based on proactive industry consultation and the desire to inclusive, not exclusive, AACTA did choose to revise the eligibility and increase the number of films in competition – thus allowing the voting AACTA membership to determine the nominees and winners in each feature film category.
We’d like to take this opportunity to again thank our members for their support and involvement in the many events and programs we undertake year on year.
The AFI | AACTA Board and Executive