New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has announced what it calls a groundbreaking series of initiatives targeting the underrepresentation of women in the entertainment industries, including the establishment of a $5 million fund to provide grants supporting film and theater projects for and about women.

“Women are not a niche market,” said MOME Commissioner Julie Menin. “It’s incredibly discouraging that while women comprise 52% of the city’s population, less than 10% of the top grossing films are directed by women. I hope that our efforts pave the way for others to follow suit, and look forward to seeing these initiatives make a substantive impact on filmed entertainment in New York City.”

The city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray said that her husband Bill de Blasio’s  administration “is committed to expanding employment opportunities and making sure New York City is a great place to live for all. As we grow our entertainment industry, it is only logical to make sure our women and girls have the skills they need to fill these jobs.

In addition to the grant fund, the initiatives,  include pitch workshops for women filmmakers and a film financing conference connecting women filmmakers with financing for their projects; a screenwriting contest for NYC screenwriters to broadcast a six-episode series on New York City’s channel 25; a new block of programming on channel 25 focused entirely on women and their perspectives; and a report analyzing the gender inequity of directors in the film industry.

Called the Women’s Fund for Film and Theatre, New York’s first-of-its-kind cash grant program is designed for filmmakers, playwrights and theatre producers working on projects by, for, or about women.

Submission dates for the grants have not been announced, but those interested can sign up for information updates at the MOME website here.