An invitation is not enough

Sight & Sound received the following response to our editor’s November issue editorial The Equalizers, which invited more introductions and pitches from good female writers.

Ania Ostrowska

Seven Chances (1925)

Seven Chances (1925)

To the editor,

We are writing, as feminist filmmakers, academics, critics, curators, programmers and editors, in response to your November 2014 editorial and its “modest invitation” to female critics. The editorial was very welcome in its forthright recognition of Sight & Sound’s role in both creating and changing under-representation in the film industry, and we support your statement on the significance of film culture in shaping society. In response, we invite Sight & Sound to pay attention, regularly and assiduously, to the rich, diverse, exciting and present moment of feminist cinema and moving-image media, and the new feminist criticism emerging online, in the UK and beyond.

Sight & Sound remains the most important UK journal of filmmaking, one recognised worldwide for its continuing ability to define and advocate for independent and emerging cinemas, not least for its support of and by such definitional writers as Amy Taubin and B. Ruby Rich. Film criticism has a responsibility, as your editorial outlines, to use the power of coverage and advocacy so that filmmaking opportunities for women can translate into distribution, exhibition, audience and posterity.

An invitation is not enough: powerful organisations where there is systemic inequality have the responsibility to research and reach out, and to create change within the structure so that it is welcoming to diverse participants. London Film Festival 2014 reached parity with international statistics for women in independent cinema, with 20 per cent of its feature programme directed or co-directed by women.

We believe that Sight & Sound can do the same or better across its features as well as reviews, featuring new voices and new cinemas that offer more than a ‘female gaze’. We are willing to help the magazine celebrate the plenitude that already exists, if it is willing to open up us, our projects, and our communities.

Yours, Sophie Mayer, freelance writer and independent scholar
Ania Ostrowska, editor, Film, The F-Word

Signed by:

Abigail Addison, Producer & Associate Director, Animate Projects
Kim Akass, Senior Lecturer in Film and TV Studies, University of Hertfordshire
Mallory Andrews, editor, cléo journal
Anna Backman Rogers, Senior Lecturer (Film Studies), University of Göteborg, Sweden
Bidisha, human rights journalist and arts critic
Jo Blair, Senior Programmer & Arts Manager, Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd
Lisa Bloom, Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Women, University of California, Los Angeles
Lucy Bolton, Lecturer in Film Studies, Queen Mary University of London
Karen Boyle, Professor of Feminist Media Studies, University of Stirling
Rebecca Brand, filmmaker

Seven Chances (1925)

Seven Chances (1925)

Julie Casper Roth, filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Communications, SUNY Cobleskill
Jenny Chamarette, Senior Lecturer in Film, Queen Mary University of London
Elinor Cleghorn, researcher, writer and film curator
Anna Coatman, editor, Visual Cultures, IB Tauris
Corinn Columpar, Associate Professor and Director, Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto
Julia Cooper, managing editor, cléo journal
Elizabeth Cowie, Professor Emeritus in Film, University of Kent
Maria Delgado, Professor of Theatre and Film Arts, Queen Mary University of London
Catharine Des Forges
Jemma Desai
, Curator and founder of I am Dora
Hope Dickson Leach, filmmaker
Beti Ellerson, director of Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema
Marian Evans, writer and filmmaker, Wellywood Woman
Mara Fortes, Programmer, Ambulante Film Festival, Mexico
Rachel Garfield, artist and Lecturer, University of Reading
Kate Gerova, Creative Director, Birds Eye View Film Festival
Tina Gharavi, filmmaker
Lisa Gornick, filmmaker, artist, performer
Alexandra Hidalgo, editor-in-chief of agnès films, filmmaker, and assistant professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University
Helen Jack, film programmer and festival producer
Juliet Jacques, journalist and arts writer
Deborah Jermyn, Reader in Film & Television, University of Roehampton
Cristina Johnston, Senior Lecturer in French, University of Stirling
Alexandra Juhasz, filmmaker, blogger and Professor of Media Studies, Pitzer College, Claremont, California
Kate Kaminski, founder and Artistic Director of Bluestocking Film Series
Line Langebek, filmmaker (screenwriter)
Alisa Lebow, Reader in Film Studies, University of Sussex
Philippa Lovatt, Lecturer in Media and Communications, University of Stirling
Ivana MacKinnon, producer
Frances Morgan, writer and editorLisa Gornick, filmmaker, artist, performer
Rachel Moseley, Associate Professor, Department of Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick
Matilda Mroz, Senior Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture, University of Greenwich
Laura Mulvey, Professor, Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck
Emily Munro, Scottish Screen Archive
Sarah Neely, Senior Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture, University of Stirling
Thuc Nguyen, The Bitch Pack, Los Angeles, CA
Ruth Novaczek, filmmaker and writer, agnès films
Elena Oroz, adjunct professor at UOC (Open University of Catalonia, Spain) and freelance writer

Seven Chances (1925)

Seven Chances (1925)

Pratibha Parmar, filmmaker & Visiting Artist/Professor, California College of Arts
Debs Paterson, filmmaker
Domino Renee Perez, Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Anat Pick, Senior Lecturer, Film Studies, Queen Mary University of London
Nina Power, Senior Lecturer, Department of the Humanities, University of Roehampton
Sarah Pucill, filmmaker and Reader, University of Westminster
Agata Pyzik, author, Poor But Sexy
Kiva Reardon, editor, cléo journal
Rosylyn Rees, filmmaker
Lucy Reynolds, Pathway Leader, MRES: ART: Moving Image, Central St Martins, University of the Arts
Charlotte Richardson Andrews, arts and politics journalist
Selina Robertson, Club des Femmes
Elena Rossini, filmmaker
Shelagh Rowan-Legg, programmer, freelance writer and independent scholar
Elhum Shakerifar, film producer, Postcode Films
Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor, Women & Hollywood
Amy Taubin, Contributing editor for Film Comment and Sight & Sound
Ellen Tejle, Director of four cinemas in Sweden, initiator of the A-rating campaign
Alex Thiele, film producer, 65 Wilding Films Ltd
Sue Thornham, Professor of Media and Film, University of Sussex
Sarah Turner, filmmaker and Reader, Fine Art, University of Kent
Bérénice Vincent and Delphyne Besse, Le Deuxième Regard
Elke Weissmann, Reader in Film and Television, Edge Hill University
Helen Wheatley, Associate Professor in Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick
Patricia White, Professor and Chair, Department of Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College
Kanchi Wichmann, filmmaker and programmer
Emma Wilson, Professor of French Literature and the Visual Arts, University of Cambridge
Helen Wood, Professor of Media and Communication, University of Leicester
Penny Woolcock, filmmaker
Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director, Women Make Movies

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