Australian film organizations Screen NSW and Documentary Australia Foundation have launched a new initiative to support female documentarians in the state of New South Wales.
SheDoc will focus on supporting the travel, researching, mentoring, residency, skills development of women in film, while seeding new work and aiding in the development of impact strategies using documentaries.
Screen NSW reported that of the documentary projects and factual directors it supported in the year-long period of November 2015/16, less than half — 37% — were women. Though the number saw a slight uptick from the 2014/15 figures, the Sydney-based film organization says “there is still a way to go.”
“The need for this intervention is clear,” said Screen NSW CEO Courtney Gibson in a statement. “There is a significant gender divide in the documentary sector with the most recent Screen NSW figures reporting that less than half of key creative roles of writer and director are taken by women.”
While the program is not for production funding, SheDoc will be open to female filmmakers at any stage of their career and in any key role to “to make a pivotal intervention in a woman’s filmmaking career,” added Documentary Australia CEO Mitzi Goldman.
“By offering funding to facilitate opportunities that are self-directed and of benefit, our aim is to positively intervene in women’s filmmaking careers,” she continued.
The program will award up to four grants a year with the aim of encouraging new voices; enabling skills to be consolidated or developed; assisting in projects launches; and assisting in building strategic audience engagement strategies.
For more information on guidelines and application details, click here.
The initiative is funded by private philanthropic support through the Documentary Australia Foundation, funding from Screen NSW and from corporate partner RØDE Microphones.