UK Screen Industry Strategy – Raising Films Launches in Australia
Women in Film and Television NSW (WIFT NSW) recently announced a partnership with UK based Raising Films to bring its strategy aimed at addressing the issues faced by parents and carers working in the screen industry, to Australia.
The Raising Films Australia strategy recognises the complex work environments within the film and TV industry such as the freelance nature of the work, remote locations, long and ad-hoc hours and how these impact the parenting and caring responsibilities of those working in the industry, particularly women.
Based on its research, Raising Films (UK) has set up tangible programs to assist employees better meet their work and caring commitments and support positive changes towards a more family friendly industry, Raising Films Australia aims to establish similar initiatives for the local screen industry.
Hope Dickson Leach, co-founder of Raising Films said, “We started Raising Films to bring the issue of caring responsibilities into the inclusivity agenda in the film industry. Through our research, community building and training schemes we have begun to make a real impact on those who are struggling to develop and sustain their careers and family commitments. We are very excited about the launch of our first international chapter in Australia, where the appetite for change is clear, and can’t wait to see what Raising Films Australia does for their parent and carer filmmakers in the Southern Hemisphere. We wish them the best of luck!”
Whilst Raising Films Australia aims to advocate and support all genders with caring responsibilities who work in the screen industry, the strategy has a strong female focus, reflecting the impact of gender inequality on the barriers women face in juggling careers and parenthood.
Though WIFT NSW will drive the strategy, it will have a national focus, benefitting all states. WIFT NSW President, Megan Riakos said, “WIFT NSW recognises that gender inequality puts up many hurdles for women working in the screen industry, and that caring for children and other family members places significant strain on women’s access to sound employment in the sector. We are excited to have the support of the Raising Films team and to capitalise on their learnings and insight for the benefit of the Australian screen industry.”
Create NSW has provided a grant to WIFT NSW of $15,000 from its Strategic Opportunities program to help establish the strategy in Australia. Additionally, key screen organisations including the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network (SDIN) have also pledged to work alongside WIFT NSW to support the initiative.
The Raising Films Australia strategy will include:
- Creation of Advisory Board to bring strong industry input and lived experience to the strategy.
- A nationwide survey with comprehensive data analysis.
- Creation of detailed Raising Films Australia survey report.
- An industry wide conference with industry leaders (including funding bodies, production companies, distributors and exhibitors) to discuss how companies can better support working parents and carers.
- Development and release of Raising Films Australia report announcing initiatives and recommendations including Best Practice Guides for the industry.
WIFT NSW is keen to hear from parents and carers in the Australian industry about the Raising Films story. If you want to share your story, or contribute in some way to the initiative, please get in touch with Raising Films Project Manager, Tracey Corbin-Matchett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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