Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry./ the Irish Film Board has issued the following statement with relation to gender equality in Irish film:
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board recognises and accepts that major underrepresentation of women exists in Irish film. The IFB acknowledges that there are many talented women writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, actors, animators and designers out there that are not fully represented either in terms of accessing funding for film or in public recognition of their talent.
Gender inequality is an area of major concern to current board members and has been the subject of discussion at our recent meetings and in a number of external fora, including at the Galway Film Fleadh in July 2015. The IFB is currently developing a new strategy which will declare its strong and heartfelt commitment to gender equality and diversity as a strategic priority.
Dr. Annie Doona, Acting Chair of the Irish Film Board commented “We recognise that words are not enough; actions are needed to address the gender inequality issue. The IFB is concerned enough to act and indeed to take a lead on this issue. Members of the current IFB board are active members of the recently formed Women in Film and Television Ireland and as Acting Chair of the IFB I have been in contact with that organisation to look at what action we can take together to raise the representation of women in film in Ireland”.
The IFB has also engaged in particular with the Writers Guild of Ireland and the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland on this issue and will be continuing to work with them and with the other representative organisations in Irish film. The IFB has been working with the Eurimages Council of Europe co-production fund which has recently adopted a detailed strategy on gender equality in the European film industry.
Dr. Doona continued: “The issue of funding for women filmmakers is an important one. The Irish Film Board is finalising detailed statistics in relation to gender equality in Irish film; it is important to gather and publish this information but we know what the statistics are likely to tell us. The next step is to actively discuss the best way forward in terms of positive action to redress the imbalance including the issue of access to IFB funding. We will be in a position to announce details of a range of actions around gender inequality we are proposing to take in December”.
The IFB will also be taking this issue up with fellow public funders in Irish film including the public service broadcasters (RTÉ and TG4) and the BAI Sound and Vision Fund. It is only by the IFB taking a lead and working in partnership with others that we can find ways to address the gender inequality issue. The IFB welcomes the opportunity to be a key player in addressing gender inequality in the Irish film industry.