Written by Sally Muiruri of Thitu Productions
On the first day at the Women’s Media Summit in Provincetown, Dr. Stacy Smith and April Reign were the keynote speakers.
I was so excited to meet Dr. Stacy Smith. I used her research for my last paper during my senior year at Bridgewater State University. From reading her research findings, I was able to understand the industry much better from a woman’s perspective. Her research clearly highlights the real facts about women in film.
April Reign’s hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite, is an amplified voice that cuts across all types of professions, from the film industry, science, technology, engineering, from mathematics to finance, from accounting and to the justice system as well. April’s hashtag also cuts across all forms of diversity, from race to sexual orientation.
Both keynote speakers are strong and focused in fighting for equality. I saw their passion through their speeches, inspiring me to stay focused in the fight for equality and opportunity in this industry.
On the second day in the summit, I was even more excited to meet more women producers, directors, and screenwriters who have written academic papers on the subject matter of women in film. All presentations touched on issues that prevent women in film from progressing.
Panelists also talked about their own experiences and how they have been able to work their way through barriers that are systemically placed for women not to progress or achieve their full potential like their male counterparts. It was very encouraging to listen to the presentations, since not many accomplished women in the film industry normally talk about their difficult experiences.
Breakout sessions were informational, too. I joined in the consumer activism team. I loved our discussion on the topic. We talked about the already-developed website, www.Grademymovie.com. We came up with achievable action plans that we are still working on, even now, weeks after the summit. I am glad that the team has been active and Caroline Heldman, who started this project, has been keeping in touch ever since.
On the third day, the panelists talked about film financing and different/recent platforms for crowdfunding plus a new way of funding, crypto-funding. These options seemed to be the most recent–and future—for independent female filmmakers to take advantage of. Women can receive funding based on the strong captivating ability of their stories and not how they look.
I hope to attend the next year’s Women’s Media Summit and share some of my achievements as a female filmmaker from Kenya.