Posts Tagged ‘screenwriters’

Meeting on Equality in Irish Film

10th February 2016 by Maura McHugh

At 6.30pm on Wednesday, 24 February the Writers Guild of Ireland and the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland will hold a meeting in the Central Hotel (Function Room 1 & 2) on Exchequer Street, Dublin, to discuss the Irish Film Board’s new goals on gender equality in the film industry, and how they can be achieved.

You can read the IFB’s Six Point Plan on Gender Equality which it published in December.

All writers and directors are welcome, however since space is limited you must book your spot in advance by emailing info (a) script.ie to confirm your attendance.

IFB on Gender Equality in Irish Film

13th November 2015 by Maura McHugh

On Thursday, November 12 the #WakingtheFeminists meeting took place in a packed Abbey Theatre. Chaired by Senator Ivana Bacik, the meeting featured thirty women theatremakers talking about their experiences getting work made (or not made) in Ireland, along with a number of contributors from the audience, and an assurance from the director of the Abbey, Fiach Mac Conghail, that action will be taken to address gender imbalance in future programmes.

The Irish Theatre Institute also released information “on the Irish new play repertoire, illustrating the number of new Irish plays by women presented in the period 2000-2014 and highlighting the statistics for the Abbey Theatre (main stage and Peacock stage).”

On the same afternoon the Irish Film Board released a statement about Gender Equality in Irish Film

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board recognises and accepts that major underrepresentation of women exists in Irish film. The IFB acknowledges that 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.

Gender inequality is an area of major concern to current board members and has been the subject of discussion at our recent meetings and in a number of external fora, including at the Galway Film Fleadh in July 2015. The IFB is currently developing a new strategy which will declare its strong and heartfelt commitment to gender equality and diversity as a strategic priority.

Dr. Annie Doona, Acting Chair of the Irish Film Board commented “We recognise that words are not enough; actions are needed to address the gender inequality issue. The IFB is concerned enough to act and indeed to take a lead on this issue. Members of the current IFB board are active members of the recently formed Women in Film and Television Ireland and as Acting Chair of the IFB I have been in contact with that organisation to look at what action we can take together to raise the representation of women in film in Ireland”.

The IFB has also engaged in particular with the Writers Guild of Ireland and the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland on this issue and will be continuing to work with them and with the other representative organisations in Irish film. The IFB has been working with the Eurimages Council of Europe co-production fund which has recently adopted a detailed strategy on gender equality in the European film industry.

Dr. Doona continued: “The issue of funding for women filmmakers is an important one. The Irish Film Board is finalising detailed statistics in relation to gender equality in Irish film; it is important to gather and publish this information but we know what the statistics are likely to tell us. The next step is to actively discuss the best way forward in terms of positive action to redress the imbalance including the issue of access to IFB funding. We will be in a position to announce details of a range of actions around gender inequality we are proposing to take in December”.

The IFB will also be taking this issue up with fellow public funders in Irish film including the public service broadcasters (RTÉ and TG4) and the BAI Sound and Vision Fund. It is only by the IFB taking a lead and working in partnership with others that we can find ways to address the gender inequality issue. The IFB welcomes the opportunity to be a key player in addressing gender inequality in the Irish film industry.

It is hoped that these commitments to change will be followed up by significant action to adjust the current imbalance of representation in Irish theatre and film.

Wash Your Eyes talks

5th June 2015 by Maura McHugh

Dearbhla Walsh, Steven Benedict, and Malcolm Campbell talk heroes.

The first talk in the SDGI’s Wash Your Eyes series of discussions, in association with the WGI, took place last night. The three evenings will focus on harnessing the success of Irish writers and screenwriters, and connecting them with directors with the hope of future collaborations.

Last night Dearbhla Walsh, Steven Benedict, and Malcolm Campbell talked about ‘Adaptation: The Hero’s Journey’.

The topic for the next meeting is The Secret Life of Contracts: Everything creatives need to know about legal issues, and will take place from 6:30-8:30pm, Thursday, 18 June in The Palace Bar, 21 Fleet Street, Dublin 2.

It will feature Colin Kavanagh (Arthur Cox), Birch Hamilton (SDGI), and David Kavanagh (Writers Guild), and the panel intends to empower directors to formalise creative agreements to get that project pitch ready.

This session is valuable for both novice and veteran directors as it explores the complex legal process that directors should understand when embarking on their film projects. Colin Kavanagh will guide you through the steps and challenges necessary to take your project from a creative relationship to a formal legal arrangement.

The theme of the final session will be The Creative Mind: How I tell stories, and will take place from 6:30-8:30pm, Wednesday, 1 July in The Palace Bar, 21 Fleet Street, Dublin 2.

The panelists will be: Lenny Abrahamson, John Banville, Brendan & Niall Heery, Lisa McInerney, Terry McMahon, Paul Murray, Christian O’Reilly, and Carmel Winters.

The discussion will explore why they choose their medium of film/TV making, literary fiction, and/or novel writing. They will also examine the evolving relationship between the narrator and the audience and how this impacts storytelling. Is the medium the message and does the artist pick the medium or the medium pick the artist?

Please RSVP to events@sdgi.ie or contact SDGI at 01-6337433 – this event is open to SDGI and WGI members only.

On Winning a ZeBBie: Ailbhe Keogan

6th May 2015 by Maura McHugh

A screenwriter and a novelist, Ailbhe has made a name for herself through works like Raggsy and the Runner and Molly and the Cyclops. In 2014, Ailbhe won the ZeBBie award for Best Feature Film Script along with Oscar-nominated Steph Green for their comedy-drama Run & Jump.

‘I was delighted to win the 2014 ZeBBie with Steph for Run & Jump,’ Ailbhe said. ‘The screenplay is a thing onto itself, separate to the end film in many ways. Every word has been deliberated. It’s proper order that these little beasts should be honoured as an art form onto themselves.’

Run & Jump, her first feature film, was selected as of part of the 2010 Berlin Talent Campus Script Station and the Sundance Institute’s June 2010 lab. Directed by Green, it premiered at Tribeca in 2012 and the film went on to win numerous awards including a 2014 IFTA screenplay nomination along with her ZeBBie.

‘I had a great night at the ZeBBies,’ Ailbhe said. ‘I live in the sticks. I don’t often meet other writers. It was good to be in a room full of them. Other writers understand why you do what you do, even when you’re not making a living from it. Most of us aren’t. In place of financial encouragement come nights like these.’

In 2014, she was commissioned by the National Youth Film School to write a short film which became Whole in the Head. Ailbhe has several screenplays in development including a coming of age comedy for Film Four, an on-the-road drama for the Irish Film Board, a thriller set against the Saharawi Occupation and a fantastical love story set in Dublin. She lives in Kerry with her husband and two kids where she works with youth outreach programs to help young people write and make films about issues that matter to them.

World Screenwriters’ Resolutions

14th October 2014 by Maura McHugh

At the recent World Conference of Screenwriters held in Warsaw, Poland, member guilds of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) as well as members of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, passed two resolutions.

The first one, titled the Warsaw Women’s Resolution, calls on the television and film industry to address the issue of gender inequality in the industry. The resolution asks industry members to set a goal of having 50% of scripts across genres and at every budget level written by women. Jill Golick, president of the Writers Guild of Canada, and outgoing chair of the IAWG’s policy and research group, presented the resolution to the assembly, where it was adopted unanimously.

Statistics from writers’ organizations around the world clearly report that women write fewer scripts, receive fewer commissions, have shorter careers, and earn less money for their work than their male colleagues. As a report titled Focus on Women (2013) by Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen notes, in Canadian television alone 21 live-action programs receiving significant levels of funding from the Canada Media Fund (2010-11) were written by 65% male screenwriters, 35% female.

The full resolution follows:

Statistics from writers’ organizations around the world show clearly that women writers are under employed. We write fewer scripts, receive fewer commissions, have shorter careers and earn less than our male colleagues.

Women have the talent, experience and ambition to participate as equals in every aspect of the industry. What stands in our way is institutional gender bias.

We the 30 guilds and writers organizations present at the Warsaw Conference of Screenwriters 2014 representing 56,000 male and female screenwriters, call upon our commissioners, funders, studios, networks and broadcasters to set the goal of having 50% of scripts across genres and at every budget level written by women.

Let us reflect back to our audiences, and especially our children, worlds in which men and women are truly equal.

The second resolution, known as the Warsaw Final Resolution, stresses the need for broadcasters, digital service providers, financial institutions, producers, and film studios to respect the creative independence of screenwriters and other artists involved in production.

It reads as follows:

This golden age of television is created by writers. The season(s) long narrative arc allows unprecedented room for the development of multi-dimensional characters and intricate plots.

Investment in writers to allow them the creative and financial space to do what they do best is key to the strengthening and continuation of quality television which appeals to audiences both local and global.

Be it resolved that the 30 screenwriter guilds present in Warsaw at WCOS03, representing 56,000 writers, assert the essential role of the creator and his/her singular vision in the production of quality television. We propose the Danish model of “one vision”, which has respect for creators at its core, as the industry standard to be adopted by broadcasters, digital subscription services, funding agencies, producers and studios.

Writers must be provided with the time and resources to develop their plots and characters without either being rushed to camera or interfered with by executives who so often muddy the creative waters. We also resolve to focus on professionalizing the “Created By” credit in all our negotiations to ensure fair remuneration and respect are attached, and to create a global standard for this credit.