In a time where “#MeToo” and “#TimesUp” are revolutionizing an industry known to exclude women, harass them, degrade them, portray them as objects for sexual exploitation, we cheer as the whistle blows and standards are changed. The norm is becoming unacceptable. And trust you me, I am cheering loudly, as a woman who has experienced all of the above!
Prior to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements exposing this ugly side of our industry, I witnessed a girl be harassed on a major movie set. The boys’ club supported and protected one another while the women in power positions (with the ability to actually do something) hid in the corners. I could list many examples of what women have to deal with on a daily basis, and I am beyond thankful and excited to watch the crumbling tower of the patriarchal system fall, but I have to ask, are we throwing the baby out with the bath water? Are we excluding the good men with the bad ones? Are we excluding the men who champion women?
There are a lot of good guys out there and a lot of bad ones. Are we punishing the GOOD guys for the bad one’s behaviors?
I want an equal seat at the table. I don’t believe in replacing the boys with the girls.
Along with Ms. In The Biz founder Helenna Santos, I produced a kick-ass female driven film with an incredible male director and male cinematographer. This film was produced by two women, stars two women, was edited by a women and yet we were excluded from competitions and film finishing funds because we had a male director. It was frustrating to say the least.
We should not be excluded because we are producers and not directors. We should not exclude a man who champions women in power positions and believes in creating female helmed films. In fact, our movie “At Your Own Risk” doesn’t just pass the Bechdel Test, it smashes it to pieces. With a storyline about two career driven women who go on a geocache adventure in the New Mexico desert and NEVER talk about boys, not once. And that is credited to a male writer who champions women!
So, as we fight the good fight let’s not get so carried away that we create the exact problem we are all fighting so hard to change. Let’s really create inclusion for all!
I want to give a shout out to Melanie Wise and the Artemis Film festival for championing a movie directed by a man who champions women. They allowed our film in their female driven festival and even gave us an opening night time slot. We were so stoked to have two women and two men stand up side by side at the Q and A to discuss making this film. This is so important for people to see this kind of collaboration after watching a film that glorifies women, who are smart and strong and not objectified or stereotyped. In fact, a couple of my friends brought their twelve-year-old daughter to the screening and she told her parents after the film that it inspired her to join a summer camp for filmmaking. She is now signed up at UCLA. She told her parents she was inspired to hear us say there was no girl/boy drama on set and she even said “if they can make a movie, so can I.” These movies and these collaborations are so important for the next generation of female filmmakers to witness. I hope it inspires the young boys as well, to see men who respect and revere women alongside them as equals.
Let’s champion the men who champion us and create a better world for the next generation to come and for ourselves.