A grassroots movement among female directors has quickly taken hold, with dozens of female directors taking to Twitter today to post images of themselves on set with the hashtag #FemaleFilmmakerFriday.
The list includes Ava DuVernay, who wrote under an image of her on the set of Wrinkle In Time, “We are a small but mighty tribe,” and veteran TV drama director Lesli Linka Glatter, on the set of Homeland, who said, “It shouldn’t be harder for our daughters to direct than for our sons, it should be an equal playing field.”
The idea for the campaign, which comes amid renewed calls for gender parity in the male-dominated feature and TV directing, came from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator/executive producer Aline Brosh McKenna who made her directorial debut helming episodes of the praised CW musical comedy series.
Two days ago, on Jan. 24, she sent an email to “all my amazing female director friends” with the request for them to forward it to other female directors.
“My friend Tamra Davis, the groundbreaking movie, TV and music video director, recently posted a photo of herself directing on set with the caption: Saoirse Ronan said watching Greta Gerwig direct made her think she could one day direct. We need to see more images of women directing,” McKenna wrote. “I was really inspired by this.”
Gerwig on Tuesday landed an Oscar nomination for her movie Lady Bird, starring Ronan, the only woman to get a directing nom this year alongside four men.
“The world needs to see images of women directing. It’s hard to become what you do not see,” McKenna said.
To make this happen, she proposed that on Friday, February 2, “as many female directors as possible post a photo of themselves on set directing and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #femalefilmmakerfriday.”
“Let’s show ourselves to the world and more importantly, let’s let young women see us and show them a path,” McKenna concluded.
The initiative was quickly embraced, in fact so quickly that it launched a week ahead of schedule, with female directors starting to post on-set images today, getting the hashtag #FemaleFilmmakerFriday to start trending.
McKenna was happy to join. “The response to the email has been great, and they were so excited, they didn’t want to wait another week,” she told Deadline.
Noting the picture of Davis, who has directed an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, that inspired her to launch #FemaleFilmmakerFriday, McKenna added, “I know seeing women on set is something that could allow other women to envision themselves doing that. And those images are also super cool. I love behind-the-scenes photos; they can be very powerful and uplifting.”
McKenna hopes that #FemaleFilmmakerFriday will become a weekly tradition and will expand to include tributes to female directors whom aspiring filmmakers have been inspired by and are looking up to.
Here is a sample of some of the tweets: