#WomenInFilm Databases

May 28 · 7 min read

At Cannes, Downton Abbey actor Victoria Emslie has just announced the launch of Primetime. To encourage the hiring of more women in film, this new database spotlights women from all over the world working above the line and below the line in film.

Primetime is working to overcome the bias that traditionally affects women within the industry,” Emslie said. “To this effect, there are no profile pictures of members [though there are images of some of them on the site’s front page] and Primetime includes testimonials to help overcome the word-of-mouth based referral culture that prevails in the industry. The focus is on the achievements of members, showcasing the quality of their work.”

Primetime’s tech will expand in the future, with the help of corporate sponsorship. Upcoming features could include a job board, contract integration, and availability info. “We plan to put a percentage of our profits from future paid-for features into funding projects led by the women on our platform,” Emslie announced.

“Currently men outnumber women anywhere from 2:1 to 3:1 onscreen. Women tend to hire more women which leads to more female-led content being made; so to change the conversation onscreen we need to change the conversation behind the screen,” Victoria explained at the launch. “At Primetime we hope our mission will be met with a united front and desire to drive towards better work culture and hiring practices, in addition to hiring some pretty badass women.”

Women who wish to be included in the database must have at least three credits from IMDb, major theater companies, or APA-registered companies. Emslie, who is a part of Time’s Up UK, says that the database will be open to “all those who experience oppression as women, including non-binary and gender non-conforming people, and all those who identify as women.”

This launch has been all over #WomenInFilm social media as something ‘new’, which is a little surprising, because it’s just the latest database, within an already extensive group.

Not all the databases are designed to encourage hiring. For instance, Barbara Ann O’Leary of #directedbywomen says that her Global Directory ‘was never designed to provide people hiring lists, though there are thousands and thousands of women included in the directory that would be wonderful to hire’.

And none of them can replace direct action within the wider industry, like Ava DuVernay’s commitment to hiring only women directors in every season of Queen Sugar; and mk2 Film’s commitment to women directors, with three of the four women-directed films in the main competition at Cannes this year — including award-winners Mati Diop’s Atlantique and Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Woman on Fire— and a rich selection of women-directed films that they distribute, in France and internationally, including Agnès Varda’s work.

But the databases are fascinating. And here are some of them, in as much detail as I can manage today —

The Alice Initiative a group of studio executives and producers who want to see more female directors at the helm of our films’: seems to be resting at the moment. Twitter

Alliance for Women Film Composers ‘a community of composers and colleagues who strive to support and celebrate the work of women composers through advocacy and education’. Includes a directory. Twitter

Amplify Database for all WRITERS of colour, (story here).

The Barb Crew

‘Barb, the online collective for women in film. A platform where professionals can connect, work together and ultimately raise each other up.

Producers, directors, editors, designers, animators… We know you’re out there, they know you’re out there.

Let’s make it so easy to find you there won’t be an excuse not to.

Working in partnership with other organisations, Barb. aims to create an online database which can provide easily searchable contact information of women in the UK film or television industry, free of charge. With only 20% of the six key roles in films produced in the UK in 2015 going to women, we are determined to level the playing field.’

It provides a Google doc for you to register. Twitter Facebook

Black Women Directors is ‘a website dedicated to highlighting the work of women and nonbinary filmmakers from the African Diaspora. It’s an ongoing project designed to shine a light on the contributions of Black women to the film canon. It started out as a Tumblr in 2015. It was founded by Danielle A. Scruggs, a photographer, photo editor, and writer based in Chicago’. Twitter instagram

Cut Throat Women, a database of women who work in horror: directors, producers, screenwriters, film festivals.

The Directed by Women site, created by Barbara Ann O’Leary,has lots of functions, including information about the annual, global, #directedbywomen party every September and an all-2019 daily blog of the 21st canon of women’s films. Today, its database includes 12,678 directors.
Twitter Facebook

The Director List, created by Destri Martino is another rich site that includes a director database.

‘The database is a practical tool to help members of the film and television industries find female directors for their ODA’s, approved director lists, rosters, and any other projects that might require a director.

There are over 1000 directors included in the database and each one of them has directed either a feature-length film (narrative or documentary), television episodes, or they are seasoned commercial or music video directors. And, of course, they all happen to be women.

The database includes filters geared toward the needs of producers or executives- covering medium, genre, region, etc. As the site grows, more filters will be added. Please feel free to let us know what additional information will help you find the talent you need for your projects. Send requests to help@thedirectorlist.com.’
Twitter Facebook

Film Fatalessupports an inclusive community of women feature film and television directors who meet regularly to share resources, collaborate on projects and build an environment in which to make their films’. Began in New York, now all over the US, in Canada, South Africa and Australia.
Twitter Facebook instagram

Free the Bid, ‘a 501c3 non-profit initiative advocating on behalf of women directors for equal opportunities to bid on commercial jobs in the global advertising industry’. Twitter Facebook Instagram

Glass Elevator, created by Jen McGowan.
A ‘free, membership-based international community of over 3,000 vetted women offering classes, social events, job postings & a searchable member directory…Membership grants you access to peer to peer career advancement classes, social events, a searchable database of our Member Directory and an internal Avail Check system… Glass Elevator members are Executives, Talent, Above the Line, Heads of Departments and Crew from script through criticism. Members hail from every union and guild. Some are Emmy and Academy Award winners.’
Twitter Facebook

The JTC List, a Google doc, ‘of WOC who work in the film industry. We will give you updates on careers, achievements and plain and simple highlight badassery of WOC in Hollywood (and beyond)’.

Media Stakeholders Directoryfor people of color to find job opportunities in the creative industries’. See story here. Twitter Facebook

Muslim Women Writers in Film/TV 2019 is a Google doc.

Nordic Women in Film ‘a knowledge bank and source of inspiration about women in the Scandinavian film industry — Our ambition is to try to set the record straight by re-writing the history of moving pictures in the Nordic region from a feminist point of view. We want to enrich film history, fill in gaps and allow more people to take part in creating that history in the future.’

Nordic Women in Film ‘is an initiative from the Swedish Film Institute, and part of its work toward equality within the Swedish film industry. It is a collaboration between the Swedish Film Institute, the University of Stockholm, the National Library of Norway, and the University of Copenhagen, with help from the Danish Film Institute. The Swedish Film Institute acts as host.’ instagram Facebook

Jill Soloway’s The Topple List (toppling the patriarchy!) of ‘culture creators’. Facebook Twitter

Tema Staig’s Women in Media #WiMCrewList: members get access to a jobs board, rental houseand events discounts, as well as the ability to apply to a #HireTheseWomen Initiative. Twitter Facebook

The database at Women in Film India is part of a Women Making Films, a much wider project, ‘To provide a platform for female filmmakers worldwide to network, collaborate and create works in the audio-visual medium.’

Women in Film Pioneers Project, based at Columbia University, ‘features silent-era producers, directors, co-directors, scenario writers, scenario editors, camera operators, title writers, editors, costume designers, exhibitors, and more to make the point that they were not just actresses,’ and has lots of extra interesting info! Twitter Facebook


Illuminatrix, a collective of professional female cinematographers based in the UK and working internationally, with the most gorgeous Instagram feed where individuals choose and talk about images
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The International Collective of Female Cinematographers, which also has an extraordinary Instagram. Twitter

In the US, CinematographersXX here. Twitter Facebook

In India, the Indian Women Cinematographers Collective.

I love them all, in all their diversity. Let me know if you have another list to add?

(Warm thanks to Barbara Ann O’Leary for her additions.)

Originally published at https://wellywoodwoman.blogspot.com on May 28, 2019.


Written by


Marian Evans. Stories by & about women artists, writers and filmmakers. Global outlook, from Aotearoa New Zealand.

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