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The Academy's failure, yet one again, to nominate a female director.

The Academy's failure, yet once again, to nominate a female director.

"There's been a slow death in a way. On the positive side, there are films getting into the Academy Awards that wouldn't have, but on the negative side, financiers are now dominant and making all the decisions. I can't count the ways a director's vision is compromised." Lili Taylor

I opened my computer and settled to continue working on my feature script about a 'disentranced' woman in a world that could be ours, but dare not admit that it is.  'Disentranced' is the title of the film.  I love this word for it basically means: To awaken from a trance or deep sleep; to arouse from a reverie.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to write as I very quickly got diverted by the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, which have been released today. 

I watch a lot of films, intrigued by the way performances are brought to life through direction, art design and cinematography.  Of course there are a lot more elements in filmmaking , but those three elements peak my interest more than any other.   I wasn't surprised with the nominations, but I was surprised by the lack of women who have been nominated.  Not one nomination for directing, except in the foreign film category, not one nomination for cinematography, not one nomination for editing, not one for music (original score) and then it dawned on me.  I have been watching films that are pushed towards exhibition ultimately created mainly by men.  These are the films that I watch, because these are the films that are screened,  precipitated by an agenda to push these films towards exhibition by the financiers themselves who fund these films.

There is not a lack of female talent, don't any one dare say that, but there is a lack of sympathy from those funding these films to allocate female talent in the making of these films.  When will this change?  How can this change?  It is not enough to push statistics that women are not given opportunities at directing, it has to change right at the top,  with those making the financial and creative decisions.

Women have to be given opportunities to be involved in all facets of filmmaking, to not have this happen is archaic, one sided and irrelevant in this day and age. I have been given a choice at the cinema and or VOD that I can either watch films by men or films by men.  Doesn't leave much of a choice.  I hear Lili Taylor's sentiment that financiers are making the decisions, so where does this leave the audiences that will tune in on Feb 25th?  What are the Academy Awards telling these people, the audience, you and I? 

The Academy Awards are telling you and I that women are not good enough.  I will not not stand by and practice my craft as a director with this echoing in the background amidst the glamour, glitz and applause.  We all have to speak up to not tolerate this inequality in film, for it is more than just film. It is a voice; vision even, of the past, present and future that is provided by men, keeping women asleep or at bay. These are both one and the same.  My film disentranced is about a woman that wakes up from the lies and misconceptions that she has been fed.  Isn't it time we all did this?

Stella Dimadis


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