"The next game changer in cinema won't be a new camera or some advanced technology, it will be the female filmmaker."
- Nathan Fleet, Hamilton Film Festival
As I write this, the Hamilton Film Festival is receiving a large number of films and I am noticing more entries from female directors. Maybe it's always been this way and I am just noticing it now. Maybe there are more females making films than in previous years, or maybe it is because we have been more vocal about female filmmakers making it onto our screens and they are finding a home at HFF. Whatever the reason, I am very glad it is happening.
I can't pin-point the difference between male and female directors, I just notice that there is a difference. It could be that I see the name / photo of the director as I scroll through the film list on Film Freeway but side by side, they have just as much edge, attitude, fearlessness, bravery, passion, and attention to detail, but there is something else to these films. Perhaps it is a new emerging voice that hasn't been allowed to express itself as easily as male filmmakers have, or a new generation of girls who were brought up to know that they could do anything they wanted to do. I personally have taught film classes and notice a pretty even ratio of male:female participants. What ever the reason, I don't know it but the results are in and they are proving to be great.
My daughter recently looked at me sideways when I told her that only 2 women had won Best Director at Cannes. (An angry sideways, not a confused sideways) Looking back, since we started giving awards, 3 of 8 Jury Choice awards went to female filmmakers. Best Music, Student, Screenplay, Doc, Short and Editing have all been awarded to a female at HFF.
While we haven't made our selections for the 12th edition of HFF yet, I have already seen some incredible work from female directors, and writer/directors come through. If our past is any indication, we will see many more this year!
P.S. and as I write this, we have 3 female programmers and 2 male programmers at HFF this season.
Photo: There Should Be Rules, 2015 Jury Choice Award winner Linda-Maria Birbeck