WOMEN IN FILM INITIATIVES
As a film festival we’re committed to providing opportunities for women filmmakers as well as igniting conversations around the portrayal of women in stories and on screen.
A simple, albeit imperfect test to look at whether films have realistic female characters is the Bechdel Test, popularised by cartoonist Alison Bechdel. To pass the Bechdel Test, a film:
- Has to have at least two named women in it
- Who have a conversation with each other
- About something other than a man
It’s important to note that the Bechdel Test is not a measure of how great a film is, nor does it tell you if the film has a woman writer or director.
But it will make you think about how women are portrayed on screen. Each year, we rate all films in the program by whether they pass or fail the Bechdel Test.
We also have a commitment to ensure there is gender parity in the number of men and women you see speaking across the festival, be it moderators, guest speakers or panellists.
One of the major barriers for women the film industry is reliable child care – for working and attending professional development opportunities. To help remove this barrier for filmmakers and emerging filmmakers to attend GCFF, we offer free on-site childcare for select industry panels and films during the festival.
Affordable and flexible child care remains a major barrier for parents in the screen industry – particularly to participate and attend professional development opportunities.
Four years ago, Gold Coast Film Festival was the first film festival in Australia to offer a creche to help address this barrier for parents. Thanks to advocacy initiatives from WIFT’s Raising Films, there are now other festivals and screen events (most notably the Screen Forever Conference) realising the importance of offering child care to support parents and carers in the industry.
Due to COVID safety measures, we’ve made the unfortunate decision to put our creche offering on hold in 2021. We hope to be able to offer this again in 2022.