SHE DIRECTS Program Strives to Empower First Nations Women in Film

In a significant stride towards promoting diversity and representation in the Australian film industry, SHE DIRECTS, an intensive three-day directors lab, is set to empower early to mid-career First Nations women. Organized by BLACKapple Productions in collaboration with esteemed partners, this program aims to bridge the gap in the number of First Nations women joining the screen industry, particularly those from remote and regional Australia. Empowering First Nations Women in Film: SHE DIRECTS Directors Lab Comes to Victoria

Addressing the Disparity: The establishment of SHE DIRECTS underscores the pressing need to address the underrepresentation of First Nations women in the Australian film industry. With support from Screenrights, Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, and Common Ground, the program seeks to provide a platform for creative learning and experimentation for aspiring directors. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by women from remote and regional areas, SHE DIRECTS aims to nurture talent and provide avenues for professional growth.

A Curated Learning Experience: Filmmaker and Warramungu/Luritja woman Beck Cole, known for her acclaimed work in projects like “Deadloch” and “Black Comedy,” will curate the Directors Lab. Cole brings a wealth of experience and insight to the program, which will also feature masterclasses from leading First Nations female directors. With a focus on collaboration and knowledge sharing, SHE DIRECTS seeks to propel participants further along their filmmaking journeys.

A Platform for Growth: SHE DIRECTS is not about competition but rather about fostering a supportive environment for creative exploration and development. Through sessions covering script analysis, visual referencing, casting practices, and working with actors, participants will gain practical skills and valuable insights into the art of directing. The program emphasizes the importance of discipline, preparation, and collaboration in the filmmaking process.

In Conversation with Industry Leaders: Moderated by Common Ground CEO Rona Glynn-McDonald, SHE DIRECTS will feature ‘In Conversation’ sessions with special guests, followed by screenings of key cinematic pieces directed by those guests. These sessions provide an opportunity for participants to engage with industry leaders, gain inspiration, and learn from their experiences.

Looking Towards the Future: As SHE DIRECTS prepares to welcome its inaugural cohort of participants, excitement and anticipation fill the air. With a focus on empowering and elevating the voices of First Nations women in the film industry, the program represents a significant step towards greater diversity and representation on screen. Through collaboration, mentorship, and creative exploration, SHE DIRECTS aims to shape the future of Australian cinema and pave the way for a more inclusive and vibrant industry.

SHE DIRECTS is more than just a directors lab; it’s a platform for empowerment, learning, and growth. By providing opportunities for First Nations women to hone their craft and amplify their voices, the program is driving positive change in the Australian film industry. As participants embark on this transformative journey, they carry with them the hope and vision of a more inclusive and equitable future for all storytellers.

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