Let’s give female directors a standing ovation (because they seriously deserve it)

In case you didn’t know, July 5th (aka, today!) is Work-a-holics Day, and who better to honor on such an occasion than female directors? Especially since lately, a lot of pretty shocking reports have surfaced, showing how dismal the work environment is for so many of these fantastic working women. Back in January of this year, Variety reported that the number of female directors has actually fallen — not risen — by 2 percent over the last 17 years. Furthermore, women only make up 7 percent of the directors on big-name movies. And it’s not because of a lack of interest. “Women comprise anywhere from a third to over a half of students at major film schools,” Variety states.

To call more attention to this issue, MTV News has been going the distance with coverage on the lack of female directors in both film and television. They reported on Bloomberg Business’ documentary Celluloid Ceilings whichdeconstructs some of the truths about the film industry. And through Celluloid Ceilings, we learned more disheartening information about female directors in the movie business, such as the fact that women have been trying to combat sexism since 1979. “The OG6 then partnered with the DGA and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) to fill a gender discrimination lawsuit against the studios, but it was quickly thrown out,” MTV states. The bottom line? It’s 2015, and we have yet to see equality in Hollywood.

While the reports and numbers are discouraging, women in the entertainment business are not about to give up. One group in particular that has come together to combat these abysmal statistics is the Film Fatales, an organization of women directors who regularly meet up and provide mentorship for one another. It’s fantastic.

Founded in 2013 by Leah Meyerhoff, the group meets each month at the home of a different filmmaker. While it began in New York City, there are now more than two dozen local chapters all over the world. Current film topics are discussed at the meetings as well as updates on their individual projects all while sharing dinner together. Most importantly, Film Fatales offers female directors the opportunity to find  assistance and seek help if needed —group members are able to find funding, share contacts, and give or receive advice.

Not only does this club foster an inspiring and supportive environment, but it encourages women to learn and teach. Film Fatales schedule Master Classes, in which a member of the group highlights an area of her personal expertise and teaches it to the group. Some topics have included: Crowdfunding, Self Distribution and Social Media. Writing groups are also part of their programming. Meetings are held where constructive notes can be given during the screenwriting stage to propel each project closer to its pre-production phase.

Film Fatales is battling Hollywood sexism and gender inequality in a super positive way, while also creating a community and space for creative, hard-working women in film. And this is something we applaud and would love to see more of in all industries where women have to fight for their rightful place at the table. So, today on Work-a-holics Day we give all female directors a standing ovation. Because their work deserves to be supported and celebrated and discussed.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Film Fatales check out their website here.

(Image via Twitter)

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