You’ve really worked in this industry through I think a huge change in terms of the way women who make films are treated today and women who made films in the past. I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you think we’ve finally hit a watershed, or if you feel there are some obstacles we may not even know are there.
I don’t want to be a Pollyanna about this, but I think the #MeToo movement is a bit like the Berlin Wall coming down, even if it’s not as bad as it used to be. I don’t know if it will be 50/50. Because many women have divided priorities; want to have families, and want a fulfilling personal life. They have more expectations or dreams than men. But the audience is 50/50 they want female-focused stuff, which is a big new thing. I think it’s bigger news than women making things. It’s always about money. It’s always about, Who will pay for it? Well, now people are willing to pay for it because they know women are into it and women will watch it and women will buy it. It’s the economics of who pays for things that really change.
Like, when I started, Gillian Armstrong did “My Brilliant Career” and was the only woman on the platform. At that point, it was like, oh, women never do this. Now, they clearly do. But even if you can talk to women now, it’s still difficult. I think this is a change that is not random and it is something that we have to continue.
I think more women being empowered in the area is the most important thing. Women making good material is the big deal. This is the only way. You don’t just dictate what happens. It should be a situation where women can do great things. I think that is the truth. It doesn’t matter if we are girls or boys. We are the creators and we do not want to be by adding all the time a “female director.” You don’t say “male director.” That is also part of equity. Which you cannot distinguish by your gender. Whenever you do something, it is only by the quality of the work.
I think that is definitely because there is no parity and it helps to teach gender to see the lower percentages that are hired. I actually interviewed Gillian Armstrong last week for a book I’m working on, and she was talking about how they in Australia are trying to address the hiring practices there. Girls go to film school 50/50, but they don’t get 50/50.
Did you talk to him? Amazing!
Yes. It was great to talk to you two for a short time because you are both my favorite directors. His story reminds me of when you introduced “The piano” at the Academy Museum last year and you mentioned that you might have started a school to help teach more girls. Is that still happening?