This Thursday, we’ll be traveling to Columbia, Mo. to participate in the Citizen Jane Film Festival. This is the fifth year the festival has taken place, and we are so excited to be a part of this important weekend in celebration of independent films by independent women.
The festival was incepted as a way to promote women as filmmakers in all genres by screening their films, hosting workshops and panels and creating an atmosphere in which women can gather for creative renewal and collaboration.
Diversity in storytelling is important, and that’s one of the reasons we are so excited to be participating in Citizen Jane. According to Melissa Silverstein, (author of In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing)
“Only 5 percent of the top 250 grossing films released in the United States in 2011 were directed by women. And no matter the perception that women have achieved a certain level of success, the numbers are actually getting worse, not better. Women directed 9 percent of films in 1998. Seven percent in 2006, and 7 percent in 2010.”
(The Riveter, Silverstein and several other acclaimed women filmmakers will be participating in the CJ Summit on Thursday, Oct. 3. Click on the image to enlarge and make sure to attend this free event if you’re in the Columbia area.)
By bringing the excellent films being made by women to the limelight, Citizen Jane is taking a crack at the same proverbial glass ceiling that we are also attempting to shatter via The Riveter.
Throughout the weekend, we will be enjoying the films and discussing the challenges women face as storytellers in all forms of media, specifically film and longform journalism.
An area in which these two mediums directly intersect is film criticism, which is why we are making it a point to review as many of the festival’s films on The Riveter as possible.
According to a study released last May by San Diego State professor Martha Lauzen, top female critics on Rotten Tomatoes wrote only 18 percent of the site’s film reviews in spring 2013. These results are disturbing, especially if the statistics of such an oft-used site are meant to be indicative of industry patterns as a whole. Flavorwire described Lauzen’s findings as “a self-closing loop where more often than not, men make movies for men that men review.”
We, as the Rosies, are excited to explore solutions to these problems with women behind Citizen Jane. As the numbers suggest, underrepresentation of women in creative fields is intertwined; we must begin to untangle the knot at its center.
If you think that films by women and the female perspective are important, please help us out. We are seeking writers in the Columbia area to help us review the films that will be screening all day Saturday (Oct. 5) and Sunday (Oct. 6). Email us your resume at email@example.com.