I’m excited to launch Cinemazzi’s 100 Women In Film Down Under today! It’s our new blog series where we’ll be celebrating Australian women kicking goals in film and tv, from camera operators to costume designers, at home and in Hollywood.
This month I had the good fortune to sit in on a Women In Film luncheon, an initiative of the Gold Coast Film Festival, alongside 80 or so other women at the QT Hotel’s inaugural event.
Special guests Margaret Pomeranz and her producer daughter-in-law Philippa Whitfield-Pomeranz merrily regaled us with tales of celebrity Cannes interviews gone wrong (Margaret) and the stories behind creating one of this year’s standout television series, Foxtel’s Fashion Bloggers (Philippa). This was all over a beverage or two, a spot of lunch and a fun catch-up for the power women in attendance, such as producer Veronica Fury, of Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films, and Lynne Benzie, president of Village Roadshow Studios.
Looking around the restaurant at all the studio heads, film producers, publicists and government representatives gathered in one room, I was completely inspired. I had already been covering the achievements of female filmmakers and actresses whenever I got a chance, but I decided to start tracking them down to interview for 100 Women In Film Down Under. I didn’t want to make it a 1 to 100 ranked list; rather, I wanted to start a collection of video interviews, news stories and galleries to celebrate our gals’ success locally and internationally across different fields.
Why 100? It sounds huge. But once I started putting together a wish list of candidates to interview, I realised I was already near double that. Sticking to, not filling, 100 was going to be the hard part. Australia produces some pretty kick-ass women, after all.
It also seemed timely. The issue of women in film has been gathering serious momentum in 2015: from Russell Crowe’s comments about roles for women over 50, to Patricia Arquette’s Oscars speech asking for equal pay to new all-female production companies being launched by the likes of Lena Dunham and Rose Byrne (more on this in another post), it seems we all want to have the same conversation. And perhaps the industry is actually listening, too. Marvel announced it is launching its first female-fronted superhero series. Cannes is opening this month with a film by a female director for the first time since 1987 (La Tete Haute, in case you were wondering). And now, not only is there a female Expendables in the works, today I heard there’s a female 21 Jump Street happening too.
So who have we chosen to interview first? Why, Margaret Pomeranz of course. The doyenne of Australian film culture sat down with us on the coast to discuss female preferences at the local box office, performance of Australian films, female film critics and why female producers are leading the field.
Got a suggestion for an Aussie women you’d like to see featured in the Cinemazzi 100 Women In Film Down Under? Let me know in the comments box below!