Magazine article Screen International

UK Industry Discuss Next Steps for Time's Up at Sundance London Event

Magazine article Screen International

UK Industry Discuss Next Steps for Time's Up at Sundance London Event

Article excerpt

How can the UK industry further address its gender imbalance?

The #WhatNext Sundance London breakfast, with attendees including Picturehouse’s Clare Binns and Film4’s Julia Oh

A group of UK film professionals debated the next steps for the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements this week under the banner #WhatNext.

The event, organised by Sundance London, took place on Wednesday May 23 at the women-only London members club AllBright.

Picturehouse’s director of programming Clare Binns opened proceedings with a call to action: “We’re lucky to be here, doing what we love. We want to help other people to do what they love. [We’re here] to think of ways to have more women in the industry doing proper creative, important work.”

Julia Oh from Film4 added that “more women in film means more opportunities for women in film” and that an increase of prominent women in prominent industry positions would inevitably lead to greater gender parity across the business.

Numerous attendees on the morning referenced the newly-published report from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) that revealed only 16% of the 3,310 screenwriters with at least one credit on a UK feature film between 2005 and 2016 were female.

There was unanimous agreement that work needs to be done across all branches of the industry, and, as Screen has reported over the last year, the balance isn’t healthier in other disciplines (Number of women directors up slightly in 2017 but still only 11%; UK film industry gender pay gaps revealed).

’Commercial risk’

At Wednesday’s event, it was also highlighted that different ends of the business also deserve equal levels of scrutiny.

The more open, public money-backed sides of the industry may be talking about inclusion and diversity in detail, but the more commercial side of the marketplace must also be held to the same standards, said Mia Bays, film producer and one of the heads of this year’s Sundance London programme.

“Everyone in the public space is talking about 50-50, but that’s not happening elsewhere. …

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