Australia Making Strides for Screen Industry Gender Parity

Screen Australia, the primary funding body for film and television has extended its Gender Matters scheme for a further four years after exceeding previous key performance indicators set for the initiative.  

Gender Matters was launched in 2015 with a target of having at least half of the key creative roles being producers, writers and directors, as well as protagonists in dramas in the projects Screen Australia finances, occupied by women. In three years over 56 percent of the SA projects funded had women in key creative roles. 

Fadia Abboud, Niki Aken and Erica Glynn. Source: Screen Australia 

The new target is to have 50 percent of the key creatives across all projects that receive SA development and production funding to be women, measured across a three-year-average. 

The Gender Matters new tracking period is 2019/20 to 2021/22. This time around, the agency will also publish the breakdown of creative roles for feature drama, television drama, online drama and documentary, as a way of identifying areas which require more targeting. 

Joanna Werner, Screen Australia Board member and chairwoman of the Gender Matters Taskforce, told Variety Magazine “This is by no means the finish line to achieving gender parity, particularly in writer and director roles, but today we celebrate that systemic change in our sector is well underway.” 

Gender Matters provides $5 million in targeted funding towards female driven projects or projects that feature women in key creative roles.  

They include projects to be released this year like Rachel Griffiths’ debut as a director on Ride Like a Girl, and Shannon Murphy’s Venice Film Festival competition entrant Babyteethas well as Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy and Punch, and TV drama’s Stateless, produced by Matchbox Pictures and Cate Blanchett, and See Saw Films’ series The End

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