When I research the careers of women in early and silent film history, I often come to a dead end. Or rather their careers do. On top of any internal industry biases or lack of confidence, back in the day marriage and motherhood was a very efficient way to cut short the career of a talented actress or film-maker.
Things should be very different now, but those days don’t seem so remote. The legacy of an industry that has been male-dominated for too many decades is that film-makers are not expected to have parenting or caring duties to juggle with production work. The cost of childcare combined with inflexible work practices prohibits many parents and carers from continuing to make films.
So, if you’d like to prove that we have made some progress in the past century, I’d like you to consider supporting an initiative called Raising Films. This organisation supports and campaigns for parents and carers working in the film industry to access the childcare, representation, training and advice they need. This isn’t just about the work, but the films. Making room for parents and carers in the industry is important because caring about other people, and forming relationships with them, is a prerequisite to making great, humane art. It also means more women working in the industry, and seeing more women’s stories told on film.
Watch the video above, check out the Raising Films crowdfunder website and please consider making a donation or sharing the page with your friends.
Yes, this post is fairly “off-topic”, but this stuff is important. Please don’t make a future version of me have to research and write stories about careers cut short by family responsibilities in the early 21st century, too.