France to Support Films With More Women in Positions
The French government will be giving greater financial assistance to films that have more women in senior positions, Françoise Nyssen, the French culture minister, announced Thursday.
The amount of the increase will be determined by a point system. A production must have a minimum of four key positions (such as director or screenwriter) filled by women to qualify and the production gets one point for each position filled by a woman. If the production has eight or more positions held by women, it will receive the maximum increase of financial assistance from the government: 15%.
“When things don’t change by themselves, or do so too slowly, it’s up to us to bring about change,” said Nyssen, who pledged at the Cannes Film Festival in May that she would link the funds films receive more closely with equal gender representation. She also said that fewer than one in six movies currently meet the qualifications for the increase.
Currently, if a female crew member works 100 hours in a year, a male crew member still works more hours, and if a female director makes three movies in a decade, a male director makes four, said Sandrine Brauer, a member of the group 5050 by 2020, which aims to reach gender equality in the film industry by 2020. The group’s figures hold that between 2006 and 2016, only 23% of the 2,066 directors in France who have made at least one film were women.
Still, some do not believe there is a blatant inequality issue. Male producers and directors do not look to surround themselves with men, but rather look for people who are most qualified for the job, said François Ivernel, a former top executive for film company Pathé.
Canada’s film financing board, Telefilm Canada, announced its own point system for equal representation in film in November 2016. By November of the following year, Telefilm announced that 44% of projects in development for the fiscal year had a female director, 46% had a female screenwriter, and 51% had a female producer. In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, only 17% of film projects had a female director, and only 4% of movies with a budget of $1 million or higher had a female director.