19 September 2020
LIKE many historically male-dominated sectors, the film industry has often fallen short in giving women opportunities behind and in front of the camera.
The local film collective pledged to transform the industry when Film Cape Town was established, committing to ensuring the film space allowed women to hold meaning positions.
We recently caught up with three innovative women to explore their experiences in the film industry.
For producer Amanda Dlamini, animator Maxine Murray and director Sam Sterling-Court journey in the industry was initially one with huge gender disparity across sets, jobs and opportunities.
But the landscape has been changing rapidly over the years.
“When I first started studying animation, in my college class of 60 people, there were only about eight female students,” Murray recalled.
She encourage young women to not be discouraged by lack of diversity they might encounter.
“If anything, it’s an asset (being female) as many companies are actively trying to hire more women.”
Dlamini also believes the industry has become more welcoming of women’s stories, abilities and creative input.
“We’re seeing more realistic and wholesome stories on the screens that would have not had a platform previously,” Dlamini said.
Sterling-Court echoed this sentiment and emphasised women should be assertive when their work and ideas are met with skepticism.
“You must believe that you can do it, even if your voice is the only one that believes it.”
There are more opportunities for women in the industry with help of organisations such as Sisters Working in Film and Television.
However, these organisations cannot do it alone.
Dlamini stressed it was important for participants to hold their colleagues accountable and report any prejudicial distinction in treatment.
“We need to work together to create safe creative and productive spaces for all in our industry.”
With the rise of streaming platforms, the trio pointed they are often the most eager showcase upcoming female talent.
It truly is an exciting time to be a young, upcoming female filmmaker!