Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

2018 GFF Special Events

4th July 2018 by Maura McHugh

There are two special events taking place at next week’s 2018 Galway Film Fleadh that will be of interest:

What do European Screenwriters Earn?
2 pm on Friday, 13 July in The Camus Suite, The Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway

David Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the Writers’ Guild of Ireland, will give a presentation about the results of a FSE/FERA recent survey detailing the income and working life of screenwriters across Europe.

Please RSVP to info @ script.ie.

All welcome and join us for a drink afterwards!

Accelerating Gender Equality
2 pm on Saturday, 14 July in The Galway Rowing Club, 10 Waterside, Galway

This Accelerating Gender Equality discussion panel is organised by the Equality Action Committee (EAC) of the Writers’ Guild of Ireland & Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, and Women in Film and Television Ireland.

There will be introductory remarks by filmmaker Liz Gill (Goldfish Memory), followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr Susan Liddy (Lecturer, MIC Limerick). Members of the panel will include David Collins (Producer, Samson Films), Dr Annie Donna (Chair of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland), Orla O’Connor (Director of National Women’s Council of Ireland) and Michael O’Keefe (CEO of Broadcasting Authority of Ireland).

All welcome!


Photos from Mindshift

23rd November 2016 by Maura McHugh

Thanks to all the participants at yesterday’s Mindshift: Redressing Gender Equality in Writing for Film at the the Irish Writers Centre supported by Words Ireland.

Here are some photos from the event:

Marian Quinn, Lauren Mackenzie, Valerie Bistany, and David Kavanagh discuss why so few female writers & directors get films produced.

Lauren Mackenzie and Juanita Wilson discuss the practical and creative challenges of adapting work for film.

Dr Susan Liddy discusses the Irish Film Board’s new policy regarding gender and Equality Action

Agent Julian Friedmann discussing the business of scriptwriting and adaptation.

You can re-read the informative tweets that were sent throughout the day by checking the #Mindshift hashtag.

Mindshift at IWC

8th November 2016 by Maura McHugh

The Writers Guild of Ireland, in association with the Irish Writers Centre, is delighted to present Mindshift: Redressing Gender Equality in Writing for Film.

Taking place from 10.30am – 4.00pm on 22 November 2017 at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin.

As if breaking into screenwriting isn’t enough of a challenge, gender inequality is commonplace in the film industry. This professional development day, supported by Words Ireland, is aimed primarily at women writers who are interested in writing for film or television, or in having their existing work adapted for the screen.

Experts will cover:

  • writing for film and TV in Ireland
  • the under-representation of women in writing and directing film
  • the Irish Film Board’s new policy initiative on gender
  • adaptation: the creative process
  • adaptation: the contract process

Line-up includes:
David Kavanagh (CEO, WGI), screenwriters Lauren Mackenzie and Juanita Wilson; writer/director Marian Quinn, and writer/academic Dr. Susan Liddy, as well as London based agent Julian Friedmann.

Cost: €15 / €10 (IWC Members) | Bookings via Eventbrite

Please note: this event is free for members of the WGI but tickets must be pre-booked via Eventbrite.

Words Ireland

#WakingtheFeminists

11th November 2015 by Maura McHugh

On Wednesday, 28 October the Abbey Theatre launched its programme, termed Waking the Nation, to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

In The Irish Times on Monday, 2 November journalist Una Mullally pointed out that 9 out of the 10 plays in the 2016 programme are written by men, with a lone contribution by a woman playwright.

She said:

“Gender equality in Ireland’s artistic institutions is not about tokenism, it is about redressing a historical imbalance, it is about representing the population, it is about showcasing multiple perspectives not just a male ones, it is about reflecting the whole audience and not just a part of it. If art is about how we see ourselves, then why are we only getting one half of the picture? The Abbey Theatre receives taxpayers’ money, which does not discriminate on the basis of gender, yet most of the work it shows is by men. Why? If there is such a dearth of female-made theatre, what is it doing to address this? Are there female mentorship schemes? Female commissioning schemes?”

On Wednesday, 4 November Dr Brenda Donohue wrote a letter to the Editor of The Irish Times detailing highlights of the research she has conducted into the number of women playwrights whose work has been produced for the Abbey.

“Some of my latest research, which is due to be published in 2016, has focused on the number of plays written by women and presented on the Abbey stages from 1995 to 2014. It found that of 320 plays staged in this period, just 36 plays were written by a woman, 24 of which were new plays, while 12 were revivals.

My analysis shows that women playwrights are significantly under-represented on the Abbey and Peacock stages in terms of full theatrical productions. In the selected period, the annual percentage of plays written by women produced on either the Abbey or Peacock stages varied from a low of zero per cent of the plays produced in 2008, to a high of 26.6 per cent in 2003.

On average, over the period studied, just 11 per cent of the plays staged by the National Theatre were written by a woman.

One new play written by a woman is produced, on average, at the Abbey every year. In addition, the revival of plays by women is rare, with on average less than one revived work written by a woman staged per year in the selected period, accounting for a meagre 7 per cent of plays revived. In many years no revived works by women were produced. The issue of a low number of revivals is particularly pertinent to the current discussion.”

This prompted a conversation initially on Twitter called #WakingtheFeminists (also at @WTFeminists and wakingthefeminists.wordpress.com), which has turned into a grassroots campaign by Irish artists to challenge the under-representation of the work of women at the Abbey Theatre, and in Irish theatre generally.

There is now an online petition asking for equality for women artists, which anyone can sign to show their support for the campaign.

On 9 November the Board and the Director of the Abbey Theatre released a statement and acknowledged that the 2016 programme did not represent gender equality.

The Board commits to work with the Director and the new incoming Directors to develop a comprehensive policy and detailed plan to help address gender equality with the cooperation and input of the wider Irish theatre community.

There is going to be a #WakingTheFeminists public meeting at the Abbey Theatre tomorrow – Thursday, 12 November – but tickets to the event sold out within ten minutes of being released. There will be a standby list at the theatre from noon tomorrow, although demand is expected to be exceptional.

At 12.15pm sharp there will be a photo opportunity outside the Abbey Theatre for women working in all areas of theatre in Ireland. They welcome writers, directors, actors, stage managers, set designers, producers, costume designers, managers, lighting designers, administrators, sound designers, technical, and production managers to attend. If you’re unable to get a ticket for the meeting, you’re very welcome to attend the photo op.

For those who come to the photo op but can’t get into the meeting the Project Arts Centre welcomes them to continue the conversation in its bar and cafe.

If you cannot attend either event, you should be able to follow the discussion online – with information on how to do so on the website.

Dr Susan Liddy also contributed to the conversation in relation to the representation of women in the film industry by way of a letter to The Irish Times, which you can read here.

Amazon Studios: The Responses

22nd November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Amazon StudiosLast week a new film development process called Amazon Studios was announced.

Amazon is promoting this as the cool, modern way to make movies:

Movies have been developed pretty much the same way since talkies were considered cutting-edge. But here at Amazon Studios, we believe 21st-century technology creates opportunities to make and share movies and scripts more easily than ever. We invite you to:

  • Win money. Amazon Studios will award a combined $2.7 million in our first year’s worth of monthly and annual contests for the best scripts and movies. There is no charge to participate. Learn more.
  • Get noticed. Your work will be shared with a global community of filmmakers and fans, who can offer revisions and advice. Screenwriters can see their words come to life as full-length test movies made by directors vying for our $100,000 monthly awards.
  • Get your movie made. The goal of Amazon Studios is to work with Hollywood to turn the best projects into major feature films.

The problem is that as soon as the writer enters the contest s/he has agreed to a contract, and as UK screenwriter Michelle Lipton points out the contract is less than exemplary.

One warning sign, among many, is this clause:

14. No Guild Jurisdiction. Amazon is not a signatory to any agreement with a collective bargaining organization, including, without limitation, the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement or the Directors Guild of America Basic Agreement, and none of the activity conducted in connection with Amazon Studios is subject to the jurisdiction of any collective bargaining organization. If you are a member of any collective bargaining organization, you are solely responsible for your participation in Amazon Studios, and for determining whether your participation complies with your obligations under those agreements.

Many established screenwriters have weighed in with their opinions on the contract. Most of them have been through the process of developing scripts for film and/or television and understand the pressures that can come upon a script from the likes of producers and directors even under the best of circumstances where there is a fair contract in effect.

Their opinions are well worth reading in regard to Amazon Studios:

Other articles on the web about this ‘deal’:

As always screenwriters should pay attention to the terms and conditions of contracts before they enter into any agreements. Remember, as soon as you enter the Amazon Studios deal you are agreeing to its conditions.