Good News for Female Filmmakers (& We Couldn’t Be More Thrilled About It)

Every day it seems there’s another report highlighting more depressing statistics about the underrepresentation of female filmmakers. It’s high time for a change and if this week is any indication, there’s now a bonafide movement brewing to support female voices in film. We’re especially thrilled that this week has brought good news from two of our friends and partners, Vimeo and filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon.

Vimeo Helps Close the Gender Gap

Vimeo unveiled Share the Screen, a new initiative intended to help close the gender gap that pervades the industry. Through the initiative, Vimeo intends to “foster equality by investing in female-led programming, educational workshops, meet-ups, interviews, and more that highlight and support female voices in the Vimeo community.”

As Andrea Allen Director, Production & Community, Vimeo put it on her blog post announcing the initiative, “Gender inequality in filmmaking isn’t simply a woman’s problem: it’s everyone’s problem. When diverse voices are given equal consideration and weight, more informed artistic decisions are made, better stories are told…”

Gender inequality in filmmaking isn’t simply a woman’s problem: it’s everyone’s problem.

Congrats to Elaine McMillion Sheldon

And closer to home, Story & Heart filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon has been named as one of the five recipients of Chicken & Egg Pictures' inaugural Breakthrough Filmmaker Awards. The honor comes with a $50,000 grant and a year-long mentorship program. Way to go, Elaine!

We're big fans of Elaine McMillion Sheldon

We're big fans of Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Chicken & Egg is dedicated to supporting female documentarians and their Breakthrough Filmmaker Awards seeks to "recognize and elevate five mid-career women directors with unique voices who are poised to reach new heights and to continue to be strong filmmaker-advocates for urgent issues." We’re confident that Elaine will follow through on that promise.

In her Story & Heart filmmaker statement, the award-winning filmmaker and media artist writes that “Filmmaking allows me to make sense of the world around me. I chose this path because I believe images impact the way we see each other and the places far removed from our reality.”

She Does it Right

In addition to her filmmaking and interactive documentary work, Elaine co-created the She Does podcast with Sarah Ginsburg. Each episode digs deep into the creative process of a female media maker. We’re big fans of the podcast.

The dynamic duo behind the She Does podcast

The dynamic duo behind the She Does podcast

In the very first episode of She Does, Elaine and Sarah profiled Emmy Award-winner Katja Blichfeld, the co-creator and director of “High Maintenance,” the hit Vimeo series which now airs on HBO. See how all the good news comes full circle?

Here at Story & Heart, we love storytellers, and the more diverse the stories, the better, so we couldn’t be happier about this flurry of good news. Now let’s keep the momentum rolling!

Go ahead and check out the She Does podcast here and take a peek at Elaine’s Story & Heart work here.