Women in the Irish Film Industry

11th February 2016 by Maura McHugh

The Department of Media & Communication Studies at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick is set to tackle the issue of gender inequality in the Irish film industry by hosting of a day-long colloquium entitled Women in the Irish Film Industry: Moving from the Margins to the Centre.

The event is being oranised by Dr Susan Liddy, Lecturer in Media & Communications, MIC, and will take place on Friday, 4 March.

It plans to provide a public forum in which to address the under-representation of women in the Irish film industry. Practitioners, representatives from funding bodies, broadcasters, professional guilds and voluntary organisations will debate strategies to create gender equality right across the industry and, according to Dr Rosemary Day, Head of Media & Communications, MIC, “will have the opportunity to map out a clear strategy to ensure gender equity within the Irish film industry going forward.”

There has been much public debate of late in relation to the under-representation of women working in Irish theatre which lead to the formation of the #WakingTheFeminists movement. However, according to Dr Liddy “This exclusion is not the exclusive preserve of the theatre. It is also mirrored in the Irish Film Industry, which is overwhelmingly male-dominated and lacking a strong female voice and vision. My own research suggests a mere 13 per cent of produced screenplays in the period 1993 to 2013 were written by Irish women.”

The keynote at the colloquium will be delivered by Anna Serner, Director of the Swedish Film Institute, who will speak about the 50/50 gender funding policy implemented in Sweden under her tenure. Since she took up the position in October 2011, Serner has reached her stated intent of distributing state funds equally between male and female filmmakers making Sweden the first country to reach this benchmark.

Other speakers include James Hickey (Irish Film Board CEO), Dr. Annie Doona (Acting Chair of the Irish Film Board/President IADT) and Holly Aylett Head Researcher with the European Women’s Audio-Visual Network. In November of 2015 Dr Doona, as Acting Chair of the IFB, issued a public statement acknowledging “there are many talented women writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, actors, animators and designers out there that are not fully represented either in terms of accessing funding for film or in public recognition of their talent”. This was followed in December by the IFB’s Gender Equality Six Point Plan, which sets out an agenda to address the existing gender imbalance.

Women in the Irish Film Industry: Moving from the Margins to the Centre takes place in TARA, Mary Immaculate College, starting at 9.30am on Friday 4 March. Early Bird booking fee of €15 includes lunch. (Full fee €25)

Booking is essential as places are limited. For further information or to pre-book contact Dr Susan Liddy: Susan.Liddy@mic.ul.ie

This event is kindly supported by Innovate Limerick.

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