"Maybe they (women) don't want to make films, and now, just because there is money, they might be like "Hey, I wanna try this!"
In the wake of film grants aiming for gender parity, Jack Manson, a film producer and self proclaimed philanthropist, offered a new pocket of funding for male filmmakers only. "M.O.F.F.", the Male Only Film Fund, was to give young male filmmakers a chance in this new, growing female-dominated industry. The 30,000 CND funding prize was made available for men ages 18-35.
A filmmaker named "Joe", who applied to the fund, offered his thoughts. "It's been a tough year for us (men) as we used to have access to so much funding and now, just because of our sex, our access to funds have been cut in half! Add to that, all the focus and headlines are about women in film, so where does that leave us? With every month that passes, more of the spotlight is put on female filmmakers. It wouldn't surprise me if they get ALL the funding. I'm gonna seriously think about leaving the business if that happens."
Grant applicants can typically wait months before learning if they were successful at receiving funding.
In Canada, there are federal, provincial and municipal funding options for filmmakers but typically, one funding body does not grant enough to complete a project, so one must apply to several streams to complete a budget, on paper at least. There are no guarantees that you will be successful but it is said that it is more likely that one funding body will grant you funds if another has already come on board.
The difficult part for filmmakers is getting that first grant secured so that you can, hopefully, get the second approved.
The industry has recently identified the lack of diversity amongst those who receive grants, and is responding accordingly by aiming for gender parity. Not everyone is pleased by this.
Another applicant who responded to our interview request, ask to remain anonymous. "Maybe they (women) don't want to make films and now, just because there is money they might be like -- "Hey, I wanna try this!" -- which isn't fair to us guys who have been studying movies all our lives. There might be a few women that like movies but no way are there 50%. No way!" - anonymous
When M.O.F.F. was announced, the site experienced several crashes due to the volume of applicants. Over 12,000 applications were filled out in the first week. The site immediately closed to any new applications. Since then, several human rights groups, filmmaker groups , and an online petition, have successfully put an end to this controversial fund.
The fund's creator, Jack Manson, made a brief statement on his twitter account. "Clearly this was needed or there wouldn't be so many applications. I really thought I had a chance to put some men upfront but now, I'm not so sure they can make it in this business." The account has since been deleted.
Quiet On The Set! is a monthly blog post about happenings in the indie film world. Any resemblance to any persons living, or dead, or in limbo, or who identifies as being alive, or dead, or in limbo, is purely coincidental.
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photo credit: www.istockphoto.com/ca/portfolio/AaronAmat