Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board have ended the year by making a statement on their Gender Equality Six Point Plan:
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board confirms our ongoing commitment to addressing the issue of gender inequality in Irish film. We are announcing a six point plan addressing gender imbalance in Irish film. This follows on from Acting Chair Dr Annie Doona’s public statement on gender equality in November 2015. The statement addressed the underrepresentation of women in Irish film and the plan now sets out to create an agenda to address this imbalance. The six point plan is as follows:
IFB funding statistics are now published on the IFB website. Combined figures for 2010 to 2015 show that 16% of production funding applications came from projects with female writers attached, 14% came from projects with female directors attached and 36% of production funding applications came from projects with female producers attached. For projects which are completed productions in the same period, 21% had a female writer attached, 18% had a female director attached and 55% had a female producer attached. We are committed to continued collection and publication of data to highlight inequalities and enable us to address them. Each IFB Board meeting will review and monitor the latest statistics on gender.
There needs to be a holistic and integrated approach to achieve real change. The aim is to stimulate applications for development and production funding with female creative talent attached. The target is to achieve 50/50 gender parity in funding over the next three years. We will engage with production companies who have obtained or are seeking IFB funding with a view to raising awareness about gender imbalance and achieving this target. We will also engage with organisations who will provide training to executives involved in funding decisions in gender equality specifically and on cultural diversity generally. The intention is to address issues of unconscious bias within Irish film.
3. Training and Mentorship
This will be organised through Screen Training Ireland (STI) who will be announcing a series of initiatives to provide meaningful development, support and career progression for female talent including emerging talent. This will include two international placements for female writers and female directors as well as mentorships for female directors of TV drama and female directors on feature films funded by the IFB in 2016. STI will also be promoting seminars and conferences as well as panels at events and will be seeking to achieve an ongoing consciousness at these events of the need for gender equality and cultural diversity generally and will be seeking to ensure that the panels and speakers themselves also represent that equality and diversity.
Early intervention in the education process is an initial part of change of mind-sets. We will be working with the National Film School at IADT organising events for female transition year students to introduce and encourage them to consider courses in film related areas particularly screen writing, screen directing and screen producing.
We will be working with Enterprise Ireland on their entrepreneurship start-up scheme to include dedicating space at existing incubation centres for female creative talent and encouraging female creative talent to engage with Enterprise Ireland’s existing schemes.
We will also be working with other funders in media including the BAI Sound and Vision Fund and the public service broadcasters RTÉ and TG4 so that gender equality is embedded within the decision making process in screen content and that cultural diversity generally is promoted in production which is publically funded. We will also be working with Women in Film and Television Ireland and other bodies nationally and internationally to progress gender equality.