Jane Campion, Helen Mirren, and Sienna Miller are among the participants of a wonderful new initiative to highlight the next generation of female filmmakers.
The London-based fashion and culture magazine Dazed and Confused has launched Females First, a project that asks several female directors and actresses to select an up-and-coming woman director whose work they believe in. Those named will be granted 2000-5000 British pounds ($3300-$8300) to make a narrative short or music video that will be featured on the Dazed site.
Campion broke the rules a bit by choosing a preexisting short, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh's "Needle," which won a prize at Cannes last year. It tells the story of a young girl getting her ears pierced during her parents' divorce. "'Needle' impressed me with its humor, clarity and unique tone. I felt something I rarely do when watching short films -- awed," commented Campion.
Miller has chosen playwright Polly Stenham. Mirren is in talks to take part in Females First as well, as are artist Gillian Wearing, actress and writer Sarah Soleman, and Swedish director Maja Borg.
Jennifer Byrne, Dazed's Video Commissioning Editor, stated that she wanted alternatives to the "male, middle-aged, middle-class, white perspective of the world."
"All the films coming to me are from the same angle," she added. "We're not anti-men, but we want to encourage more young women to pick up the camera so we have greater diversity in what we're watching. Girls lack confidence to pick up a camera because they think they need to be technical but a director is just someone who has a story to tell and can tell it clearly."
[h/t The Independent]