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Women in Film and Television - ‘Innovators’ Event #Recap

Women in Film and Television Ireland (WFT.I) in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, presented their October event INNOVATORS – CHANGING INNOVATION with a particular emphasis on creative, business and technological innovations in an ever-changing media landscape.

Last Saturday, 22nd of October, our very own Jennie Stacey, the Director of Development here at Brown Bag Films, along with Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute, award-winning director Dearbhla Walsh, and Irish film and television actress, Ger Ryan, as the panel moderator, all came together to talk about the technical and creative innovations they are witnessing in their fields and the issues facing women in the media industry, particularly in film and television.

Here are some of our highlights from the first part of the event: the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ)

Madeline Di Nonno gave a great presentation which included the European Premiere of GD-IQ, a tool that employs video- and audio-recognition technology, along with algorithms, to identify gender, speaking time and additional details about characters presented in films, television shows and other media.

The GD-IQ is a fascinating software tool that gives researchers the ability to automate the painstaking data-collection process that researchers use to study representation and more rapidly unveil their media content findings. The tool can measure screen time and speaking time of the characters by using automated analysis and allows the recording of accurate gender portrayals in films.

Here are some of the key findings based on the top 100 grossing box office movies of 2014 and 2015:

(Credits: WIFT Ireland Twitter: @WIFTIreland)

These are just some of the screenshots from Di Nonno’s presentation in the event, but a full summary of report findings can be found on their website here.

The findings revealed that the male characters in movies received twice the amount of screen time as the female characters (28.5% compared to 16.0%) and that male characters spoke twice as often as female characters (28.4% compared to 15.4%) in the top box office movies in 2015. But when we talk about revenue, films where the leads were females made considerably more on average than films with male leads – $89,941,176 for female leads compared to $75,738,095 for male leads. Films led by women grossed 15.8% more on average than films led by men.

The results indicate a large disparity between men and women still exists in the film industry and that “women are underrepresented in film, and when they do appear, they are seen and heard far less than male counterparts”. But as Di Nonno said, “The GD-IQ research is a tool to help inspire change… It’s not meant to criticize; it’s meant to have the facts so that content creators can be aware and learn from it.”

The GD-IQ tool helps to arm researchers and industry professionals with the facts and figures needed to verify and help combat the inequality and unconscious bias that exists in the industry.

(Pictured: Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute)

Madeline's presentation and the findings from the GD-IQ tool prompted a number of questions from the audience that segued neatly into the panel discussion from the group where they discussed funding for the research, creative innovations in directing and storytelling and the common barriers to entry for women in the industry.

We'll have another recap segment detailing the Panel Discussion and the Q&A session with the audience - so tune in again soon and catch our highlights including:

- The impact of Doc McStuffins on young girls
- The panel's take on the importance of women in the industry
- Why pitching your ideas with confidence is essential

Camille Alaura

We Love Animation®

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