This year our Artistic Director, Karis launched Still, I Write alongside her collaborator and co-conspirator Safaa Benson-Effiom.
In 2018, the Writers Guild of Great Britain conducted a survey into gender parity in the scriptwriting profession and the results were sobering.
Women makeup just 16% of film screenwriters in Britain. Below 7% of UK feature films with a budget of over £10million are written predominantly by women.
Women write just 28% of TV episodes and script less than 15% of primetime television episodes.
Its safe to say that women are systematically shut out of the highest-profile writing gigs.
And it's not just on screen where female scriptwriters struggle to get their work seen.
In 2017 Hampstead Theatre Artistic Director Edward Hall programmed a season devoid of female playwrights. When challenged in an open letter, he responded: "it's because we don't have the plays" arguing,"come and see Gloria or Alligators (yes, I’m afraid they are both by men…) and if you believe you can write a play as good or better than either of those, then let’s talk!".
Another open letter was penned to ITV, asserting that hardworking female writers “remain an untapped resource”. Polly Hill responded to the letter claiming that commissioners are not greenlighting women’s work because “Ideas from far fewer women are pitched to me, so fewer scripts end up in development and being commissioned.”
The arguments that there are not enough of us, or that we're not good enough, or even self-promoting enough are insidious and false narratives.
We're really tired of these excuses, so we set up Still, I Write - a podcast dedicated to profiling and promoting female scriptwriters.
Each week we'll chat with a different female (or female-identifying) scriptwriter, discussing pertinent issues whilst promoting their projects.
Ladies - let’s make our voices heard!