Magazine article Variety

Initiative Connects African Women with Jobs in Film

Magazine article Variety

Initiative Connects African Women with Jobs in Film

Article excerpt

AS the #METOo and Time's Up movements move the needle on conversations about gender parity in Hollywood and beyond, African women are determined not to be left behind.

Enter The A-List - a homegrown effort to address the systemic imbalances facing African women working in film and TV - which will have its official launch at the Cape Town Intl. Film Market and Festival, which runs Oct.

9-19. The list will provide a comprehensive, searchable database of female professionals working below the line in production across the continent.

"I think most women in the industry will agree that the technical space is where women are most underrepresented," says Lara Preston of the Ladima Foundation, the Cape Town-based nonprofit that is launching The A-List. "With this list we can show that there is always the right woman for the job."

During the planning stages, adds Preston, organizers were looking for tangible, doable things - small and simple ideas to assist women to actually get work in the industry. "Often the argument used [by producers] is that they couldn't find a woman for the job," she says, noting that The A-List was inspired by the Women in Media's Crew List, which was launched in Los Angeles in 2017. "As the list grows, it will enable anyone to search for a specific skill in a specific location, and ideally lead to more work for women."

The A-List has already gathered nearly 800 names representing 29 African nations, from industry powerhouses like South Africa and Nigeria to countries as far-flung as Togo, The Gambia and South Sudan. …

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