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Deliberatepixel / Sundance Panel: Women in Film

Sundance Panel: Women in Film

Cinematical covers the panel just held at Sundance about Women in Film. I'm glad to hear some more positive takes from female filmmakers about the importance of talking about and identifying as female filmmakers, especially after the negativity that happened at the Telluride Film Festival, where the women's film panel almost collapsed under the weight of some of the participants' heavy-handed insistence that they were just filmmakers, and the female part doesn't matter at all.

I understand their point. It's something I've seen in a lot of male-dominated fields, including technology. I even used to feel it myself. I used to think that it's insulting and ridiculous to tie my gender to my accomplishments, and that the fact I am a women shouldn't have anything to do with my work - whether it's a film, a web application, or a scientific experiment.

And if women always worked in a fair, just, and level playing field, that would be true. But they don't. Ignoring the discrepancies between successful women directors and successful male directors (or programmers, or scientists, or politicians) is the same type of behavior as claiming race doesn't make a significant difference in the lives of members of our society. People who call themselves "colorblind," or "genderblind" are effectively disregarding those of a different race or gender as individuals, and, by extension, the challenges and injustices they still in fact face.

Women directors who don't want to talk about the status of women in the film industry today - you're not doing anyone any favors with your ridicule of being labeled a female filmmaker, as well-intentioned as that ridicule seems. The more you talk about it, the more it's normalized, the more it's easier for other young women to participate, and the farther we get to the point where it's not necessary to talk about it anymore. Then, we can shut up about it.

But we're not there yet. So speak up.



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