Women Of The Lens film festival
Empowering through knowledge and celebration
Ethos Aims and Objectives
- To create industry partnerships that nurture talent and build careers.
- To develop audience engagement.
- Highlight, celebrate and share achievement.
- Engage wider and local community.
- Contribute to the wider discourse around race, diversity, industry and education with a vision to form productive and reciprocal representations.
Why We’re Here
The Festival was created because the underrepresentation of Black women in the creative industries, particularly the British industries, remains stubbornly low. With a number of organisations stating through studies and research that there’s a dearth of Black women in the film and other creative industries, the will to do something about it is as sparse as the representations of Black women in front of and behind the camera.
Rather than continue with a frustrating wait for recognition, Jennifer G. Robinson created Women Of The Lens as her contribution to changing for the better, the complexity, diversity and multiplicities of Black women’s stories that are ordinarily overlooked in the conventional media-sphere.
Since its debut in November 2017, the Festival demonstrates that wider audiences are more than ready to engage with complex tales, which move beyond the common tropes reserved for Black women.
Luminaries such as Sir Lenny Henry and Lennie James have spoken up about the need to ensure that the industry and government take diversity seriously. Thus far however, black women are still being left out of strategies to develop and sustain their potential. They are not represented in the corresponding number in initiatives. Black women endure a multiplicity of intersectional (incl. age, class) setbacks – not only is there gender-based inequality, but lack of opportunity via race further ingrains imbalances.
Additional reasons for set backs include marketing and PR strategies. The organisations which deliver these campaigns are themselves lacking in a diverse workforce that would see purposeful campaigns that reach wider audiences.
Women Of The Lens was created to secure additional spaces towards addressing these and other related challenges and achieves this through building safe spaces, which celebrates achievement and shares knowledge.
For us, it’s not just about the roles we can see on camera, we’re also about championing Black women in decision-making roles in the industry. We ask productions about the Black women they have as say… producers, writers, line managers, casting or advertising marketing and PR. Then we inquire about those practial roles, i.e. grips, sound engineers, costuming hair, make-up people in your productions and to what extent have you considered Black women?
Since inception, the Festival has screened narratives from around the world. It has provided opportunities for filmmakers to network and gain experience in selling their productions. Each year the Festival delivers industry panels where knowledge is exchanged. And as we move into a new era of festival production due to global changes in society, Women Of The Lens will continue to adapt to meet changing needs.
Women Of The Lens
Dedicated to Black Women in the Film Industries
Women Of The Lens was created to reveal the complexity, diversity and multiplicities of black women and women of colour. We'll work with productions to change perceptions and practice.