Last week was the final screening of the Bloodshots competition and it yielded some very interesting experiences and observations for me on film making in general and fast film competitions like these.
First of all, the screening was an absolute blast. It was long and slightly disorganized, as it usually is, but seeing the films up on the big screen like that was awesome (especially seeing my own film) and the audience reactions were priceless. I had deliberately NOT watched most of the films online so that I could enjoy seeing them in the theatre. I was surprised by the quality of some of the films (both high and low) as based on the online votes I had expected certain films to really be outstanding and they were a little more mediocre than I expected. By the end of the screening I felt pretty good about our entry. Maybe not the best film but certainly strong in a lot of areas and in my personal top 5.
One thing that they did that I wasn’t expecting was they called up the film makers for an impromptu Q&A session during the intermission – this meant that I had to go up and answer a few questions about the film, but I also got to see the other filmmakers… who were ALL GUYS. I was seriously shocked to be the only girl up there. I was like, there’s GOT to be another team that had a female director but no. I happen to know that one of the films out of competition had a female producer but other than that, to an outside eye, it seriously looked like I was the only woman director in the entire 24 films!
I personally find that ratio of men to women in a leadership role rather alarming. I know that it is a HORROR competition, so maybe that genre doesn’t attract women filmmakers so much? Except that the entire competition is produced by a woman (Kier-La Janisse) who loves horror films so that excuse doesn’t really jive does it?
I am roughly 2 weeks away from heading up to Banff for the Women in the Director’s Chair program and this experience has really highlighted for me just how important programs like this are. Women seem to be under-served and under-represented in film, especially in the role of Director and this program CREATES opportunities for women directors where none exist elsewhere. Recently someone posted a list of the top ten directors who should be involved in the Star Wars re-boot now that Disney bought the franchise. Again, not a single director on the list was female. I’ve already posted about the gaping hole in women being nominated for Oscars for direction.
I hope that more women start coming out and making horror films, sci fi films, action films and the like. It is NOT the territory of only male directors. For me personally, it is my goal and DREAM to make scifi/action/fantasy films. Wish me luck in breaking down the glass wall in this genre.