News & Notes

Empowering Female Filmmakers: Online Tools for Enhancing Your Creative Journey


By Demi Harding

In an industry marred by persistent gender disparities, the uphill battle for women filmmakers to break through the glass ceiling continues. Despite triumphs at the box office, recent reports from USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative underscore the stark reality of underrepresentation and inequality, finding that the entertainment industry’s pledges to support inclusion seem to be merely performative.

In response to these challenges, the need for empowering resources and support systems for women filmmakers has never been more crucial. While there’s a long way to go on the road to true equality in media, the increasing momentum and the growing number of resources that champion women filmmakers are inspiring. Here are four of the best online tools you can use to enhance your creative journey as a woman in film.

Sundance Institute’s resource map
There are dozens of grants, workshops, blogs, archives, film festivals, and resource lists out there for female filmmakers, but finding the ones relevant to you can be hit-or-miss. Fortunately, the Sundance Institute offers the excellent Inclusion Resource Map, a database of opportunities and programs available to U.S.-based artists from underrepresented communities. The database is also searchable so that you can filter resources according to type, platform, location, and artist type. Some of the resources available include communities like the New Negress Film Society and the Asian American Women Artists Association.

MasterClass filmmaking workshops
If you’re an aspiring filmmaker looking for a way to learn more about the craft from industry giants, MasterClass can help. Known for its variety of courses ranging from cooking to programming and filmmaking, this platform gives you access to insider tips from established names in an easy-to-follow format. With silver-screen legends like Oscar-winning Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese, and Werner Herzog conducting lessons on directing, screenwriting, and more, the subscription fee for MasterClass is well worth it.

Alicia Malone’s ebook Backwards and In Heels
Alicia Malone is a television host and author best known for her 2015 TEDx Talk titled #GirlsInFilm, where she discussed the underrepresentation of women in the Hollywood film industry. Backwards and In Heels is an extension of her advocacy, providing inspiration by spotlighting the stories and achievements of pioneering women in Hollywood and practical advice for navigating the film industry. Malone’s book is available to read on Everand, a digital library with a diverse range of content, as well as resources on various aspects of filmmaking, from scriptwriting and directing to cinematography and post-production. This breadth of material allows budding filmmakers to access comprehensive educational resources tailored to their specific needs and interests from anywhere.

WIFV’s mentorship program
Women in Film and Video’s (WIFV) mentorship program was created to establish meaningful relationships that educate and inspire media-makers. Participants are paired with leaders in the industry and receive one-on-one mentoring throughout the year. Coaching can be tailored to a specific project, professional development or achieving career goals. Mentors may also serve as advocates and allies, opening doors to new opportunities and helping emerging filmmakers gain visibility within the industry. As women continue to break barriers and redefine storytelling in the film industry, leveraging opportunities for educational and professional development through WIFV can serve as a catalyst for innovation and empowerment. By embracing these programs and supporting each other, we can overcome obstacles, connect with like-minded creatives, and amplify our voices on a global scale.

For more articles and resources like this on empowering women in the film and video industry, visit the Women in Film & Video website, where you can also access its calendar of events, which includes educational panels, discussions, seminars, and more!

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