The following is written by our BFF Summer Intern, Claraliz, about her experience at the recent "Women in Film" panel held at the Boise Public Library and hosted by Clear As Mudd Films. The event took an interactive look in the industry as well as the history and resurgence of women in Hollywood. Local female filmmakers and actors shared their own film stories in addition to their vision of our film community. Claraliz discusses her time at the event below:
On Wednesday, August 3, I attended a seminar at the Boise Public Library titled "Women in Film." Being a woman in film, I was both intrigued and excited for the opportunity to attend and discuss with local filmmakers (both male and female) their understandings of the placement of women in film as well as their vision for the future of the industry. And with the admission being free of charge there was really no excuse not to go. Clear as Mud Films, a local independent film production company, hosted the event, which I was just as excited about the seminar as I was to learn of a independent film production company in Idaho!
The seminar started off by asking a very important central question to the topic posed by an audience member,
"Why are there not more women in film, especially in positions such as directors, cinematographers and the like?"
Known to be an "old boys club," the film industry sees the majority of these positions employed by men. In answering this audience member's question, the speakers began by defining gender inclusivity as not only the standard belief that all genders deserve to be equal but also the election of more women in leadership positions and roles throughout the industry.
Personally, I loved that they stressed changes in Hollywood often start in local markets and that is where we can make the most progress. It is not only important to have a female presence within the content and making of the film, but for that presence to be a positive one (without subscribing to the negative cliches such as the sex symbol or the damsel in distress). Women are obviously so much more diverse and complex than these overused roles.
Now for some fun recaps. This hilarious video titled, "If Men in Film were Treated like Women" really highlights some of the issues in the film industry. In recent years, more positive representation of women has been demonstrated by some big name film companies, such as Disney. Frozen and Brave have received high praise for their progressive themes and lack of love interests for the central female characters. Frozen focused on the strong bond of sisterhood, while Brave was the story of a girl trying to win her own hand in marriage. The Young Adult genre is also portraying young independent women in books and film in a better and stronger light. In The Hunger Games film series, main character and all around badass female role model Katniss Everdeen is a skilled hunter that fights for her family and her district in her dystopian world.
In the end, while it is fun and exciting to be able to see these kinds of representation in film and popular culture - I left asking what can we do today, on perhaps a smaller scale, to contribute? What can we do here in Boise and within Idaho that would make an impact? Could we be more conscious of the type of female characters in our scripts or the women we choose to cast? It's little things like this that we as women and men in film can make all the difference. -Claraliz