Opportunity to try your hand at Comedy Shorts because WOMEN ARE FUNNY.

If you’re like me, you’re pissed. As someone who spent a lot of my adolescence hanging out at skate parks and around many a male friend, let me share with you the complete and utter irritation of being hilarious without recognition. It’s like when you have a degree in a certain topic and you’re standing there talking to three dudes. You make a statement, they tilt their heads and suck in through their teeth, ” Ouuu, hmm, welll..” or any variation of these come streaming out of their skeptical faces UNTIL of course, another man agrees or states “yea, no, she’s right.” The tiresome years of pouring over research, going into debt for your academic pursuits are no match for the confirmation given by a heterosexual male. With penis behind you, you are now seen as credible. The same phenomena occurs for women applying for research grants. Recent research in gender bias in the academic world has shown that when selecting women academics for research projects, your chances improve considerably when you are supported or “under the wing” of a male academic. A shortcut -you could always change your name on these applications to a male name, which research shows will also improve your likelihood for acceptance.

I can not tell you the number of times I say something funny that had it been delivered with a side of penis- it would receive a laugh, but like most heterosexual men, they just can’t get passed the labia. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Carry on. Double standards exist, sarcastic males are silly and charming, whereas sarcastic females often thought of as “bitchy.” I often notice a lot of women who write comedy sketches do so from a feminist perspective, making fun of the stereotypes given to us; their writing is inspired by the ridiculous and ignorant. Feminist comedy sketches are thriving. Funny women like Tina Fey, Cecile Strong and Amy Schumer show us that women can kill at sketch comedy. They prove to naysayers what we already know about ourselves- that women ARE funny. In this spirit, I’d like to encourage any of you who might be interested in comedic writing for film shorts to take advantage of this opportunity.

Funny Women,
 supported by Benefit cosmetics is dedicated to helping aspiring female comics and script writers.

Your film must:

  • Be 1-3 minutes in length
  • Be an original piece of work, with full permissions from everyone involved
  • Be produced and devised by a women (although male cast members are totally fine)
  • Closing date for entries is Monday 31st August 2015. Submissions after this date will not be accepted

For more details click here: http://funnywomen.com/funny-women-awards/comedy-shorts-award/


As if sexism weren’t enough, agism comes rearing its ugly head from the industry again, but this time the media is talking about it! Twas just a month earlier when Amy Schumer, came out with a hilarious comedy sketch for Comedy Central entitled, ” Last Fuckable Day.”  The skit includes comedic icons such as Tina Fey and rings true to many within the film industry, just ask Maggie Gyllenhaal. Maggie came forward this week with her story of being dismissed by industry execs because she was too old to play the love interest opposite a 55 year old male.

She stated, ” It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

Check out Amy Schumer’s comedy sketch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPpsI8mWKmg&app=desktop

Only a month after the sketch was released, Gyllenhaals testament proves that these women- ain’t lying. Read more about Maggie’s experience as detailed by the Guardian:

What I want to highlight as a women’s film collective, is how Amy Schumers comedy sketch has shamelessly named the problem. It provided a comedic space for other esteemed actresses to name the sexism and agism they deal with and even make fun of it. Creating content that women relate to actually empowers other women to come forward and be more truthful when talking about the same things they’re experiencing. Schumer’s sketch was released in April, Maggie Gyllenhaal received coverage about her experience in May of the same year.

We have the ability to build content that creates a platform that encourages sharing. Instead of Maggie sitting at home in dismay, as I’m sure countless actresses have done before her, she shared her story and the press actually thought it was IMPORTANT!

Women in film create a backing of support by speaking their truth and even having a little fun mocking the facets of this patriarchal system.

Email, like and subscribe to see how you can get in touch with the women’s film collective today.

Anna Kendrick puts Hollywood Sexism on Blast and We Love It.

In a recent interview with Glamour magazine, Anna Kendrick talks openly about the sexism that exists in the casting process of the Hollywood film industry. When Glamour’s correspondent poised the question, “How are actresses treated differently than actors?” She responded,

Image result for Anna Kendrick“There’s [a film I’m considering] now where I have to wait for all the male roles to be cast before I can even become a part of the conversation. Part of me gets that. [But] part of me is like, “What the f–k? You have to cast for females based on who’s cast as males?” To me, the only explanation is that there are so many f–king talented girls, and from a business standpoint it’s easier to find women to match the men. I totally stand by the belief that there are 10 unbelievably talented women for every role.”

She also states that, though the roles are limited, it doesn’t mean that makes women more competitive.
“If anything, it bonds you because we’re all dealing with the same problem.”

Another example of how Anna is paving the way with regards to women’s  representation is through refusing to do a “sexy pose” on the film cover shoot for Pitch Perfect. Feminist scholars have well catalogued the way advertisers convey messaging with simple body posture and composition of visual media. A great documentary series called “Killing Us Softly” series and if you are interested in learning more about this, you should check it out.  Whether you’ve watched the documentaries, it’s easy to stare at any magazine wrack. We see countless covers of magazines and movie posters with women dawning poses that seems to infantilize them. You can also get a laugh by looking at men who purposefully copy the poses women are expected to do in order to highlight how ridiculous it is. In a culture that sexualizes, infantilizes and objectifies women as a norm, it often takes this role reversal to show us the ridiculousness of something we have become desensitized to.

Image result for pose like women

The timid body posture of a woman is often sexualized in these mediums. It correlates to rape culture and the perceived “helplessness of a woman.” So when Anna chose a Boss stance over a sexualized pose, she cause concern. Anna stuck to her gut, did things her own way and it paid off!

#BOSSPitch started trending on twitter with hundreds of fans posing with the poster showing off their own assertive- boss like poses.
In response, Anna tweeted:

The full interview is available in this months Glamour Magazine, where Anna talks more about refusing to be sexualized on film cover shots and talks and shares continues her willingness to share her experiences of sexism as a hollywood actress.

Plus, personally, I find her down to earth vibe- completely refreshing.

“Women in View,” reporting on sexism and racism within the film industry.

“Women in View” is a non- profit organization founded in 2011 that is dedicated to promoting gender and racial diversity on screen here in Canada. This organization is a resource for women interested in current and comprehensive research pertaining to gender and racial biasses within industries related to film, television, and generally any screen based production. The statistics shown in these annual progress reports continue to expose the massive underrepresentation and gender gap that exists in the Canadian film, television and digital media industry. 

The latest report presented at the 25th Anniversary St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, served as a catalyst for conversations around strategies such as affirmative action policies as well as creating incentives to promote equity in the film industry.

The full report from Women in View, 2014 can be viewed here:

Their research on the representation of women’s employment gap emphasizes the importance of conversation around gender disparity and how the division of labour restricts women to certain roles within the workplace. Studies show a glass ceiling effect taking place within the film industry that keeps women out of show running positions that carry authority like the roll of director or producer. We need many women from different walks of life in these positions of influence in order to create more informed representations of women. Women in view’s research has become a catalyst for conversation around equal representation within the film industry.

Women in View host bi-annual conferences entitled, Sex Money Media, which celebrate and explore the status of women in screen based media. 

Their website is http://www.womeninview.ca/
Please check them out & show your support! 

Top Women in Canada’s Film Industry say, “WE NEED MORE WOMEN AT THE WRITING TABLE.”

Diana Swain of CBC News talks to CBC TV’s General Manager of Programming Sally Catto, WIFT Toronto’s Executive Director Heather Webb, and Actor/Producer Jennifer Podemski about what it’s like to be a women in Canada’s film and television industry.

The power of film should not be underestimated. Images have been used in countless ways to propogate agenda, political or otherwise. The ability to share your experience translates into a form of freedom. It is the gift of voice, relatability and the right to share perpsective. Autonomy over your own representation is a privilege afforded to few. Mens eyes have been the lens we have viewed women through since the beginning of this artform that has grown into one of the largest and most influential industries in creating culture, norms and standards of beauty. In feminism, we refer to this as the male gaze. 

Over the years, this has resulted in comedy and tragedy. Perhaps the latter being more fitting for the implications for women. More often than not, these productions give rise to discomfort and anger within the female viewers choking on unrealistic, derogatory, sexist, representions on screen; we cringe. Looking at the screen, we see the same women appear: the virtuous virgin, the unworthy slut, the beautiful girl with the IQ of a hamburger, the funny fat girl, the sexualization of mentally illness, sexualization of our careers, the sexualization of young girls…. All the sexualization. The ugly one is evil, there’s the angry or ghettoized black girl, the black girl who seems to be there to legitimize the white girl as “diverse” like the sitcom version of saying I’m not racist, I have a black friend. On that note, the story lines of the white woman who single handledly are able to achieve relatability and effectively save the souls of poor ethnic children (perhaps too specific- we know that stories of white savours come in all forms). The countless scenes of date rape disguised as comedy because the men in these writing rooms have no clue! And Oh yea, let’s not forget the hot action side kick with significantly less lines and relevance to the plot. Am I missing any? The good new is, we’re over it. We’re becoming more aware of these problems, though the numbers don’t yet reflect significant progress, we see a dialogue emerging with many celebrities taking centre stage around feminist issues pertaining to representation of women in film. 

 The numbers are staggering, and to our dismay- sliding backwards. It’s no secret, there’s no debate, the number show gender inequality does exist and it exists in film, television and media production. The film industries reputation for one dimensional sexist representations of women is just one of the symptoms of a lack of females holding positions of influence.

The good news is, the discussion is on the table and women are ready to move and come together on these issues. CBC offers a sit down interview with powerful women working in the Canadian film and television industry. Though numbers are discouraging, these women have risen in ranks in television and film and they sit down in this interview to offer us their insight on industry.

Canadian Women in Film Discuss the Gender in(Equality) Present in Canada’s Film Industry.
WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewCLHYw7XdQ

They share insight into what they look for when reviewing film project proposals. The women point to shows like GIRLS and Orange is the New Black as being proof that we are on our way, but we need more women show runners.

One important question poised around representation of women on screen was, “How do we move the portrayal of women closer to what we think of as reality?”

Response: It’s getting Women in the Writing room. If you want full dimensional women on screen, it begins in the writing room. You tell stories from your lived experience, from your perspective, so we need more women at the writing table.

Because one writes from their personal understanding and experience, it was reassuring that at least one of these white female film industry experts make mention of the additional barriers that face women of colour. If you think the numbers are bad for representation of women in film, look at the numbers for women of colour, they drop significantly further, even into single digits.  As we discuss wanting to characters that more accurately represent women, we must remember that one women’s life does not represent all women’s reality. Yes, we need women in the writing room, but let’s not forget to acknowledge the the reality facing women of colour subjected to not only sexist barriers, but racial too. As white women sitting in positions of power, we need to remember our distinct privilege and be careful not to homogenize all women’s experiences under the same umbrella. We can express unity along points of sexism as women, while maintaining diversity that represents the reality of our different lived experience and privilege.

This is the kind of conversations we hope to cultivate at women’s film collective.

Focus On Women: A Report on gender (in)equality in the Canadian independent screen-based production industry

Canadian Unions for Equity on Screen produced this report pertaining to women’s advancement within the film industry. The results show there is great amount of work to be done to ensure women are able to succeed in the film industry-  to take part in creating content- creating media- creating culture. Look at the numbers. Check out some of the reports. 

Lets get to work creating content. Collaborating together. Telling our stories. http://www.womeninfilm.ca/_Library/images/Focus_on_Women_2013_CUES.pdf