Almost half of Screen Australia’s successful productions are led by females, says CEO Fiona Cameron

Screen Australia’s Fiona Cameron,  the organisation’s chief operating officer, said 47% of successful production funding applications from Screen Australia have come from female-led creative teams over the last two years.

The comments come as Screen Australia unveils a 17 person Gender Matters Taskforce, and moves towards its Gender Matters key performance indicator requiring female-led projects to make up 50% of successful funding applications by the 2018-19 year.

Web series Sheilas is one of the female led productions which will run early next year.

Speaking at the Melbourne International Film Festival’s industry program 37 South, Cameron said whilst they are getting closer to gender parity, the results across different categories are uneven.

“However, successful applications for female-led feature films have jumped considerably to 39% in 2016/17, from a low bar of 22% in 2015/16,” Cameron added.

“Documentary is also slowly inching towards parity, with 42% of successful production funding applications going to projects from female-led teams across the last two financial years.”

One of the more successful increases has been in feature production, up from 22% in FY16 to 39% in FY17, while multi-platform production slipped 3 percentage points, from 55% to 52%.


The Gender Matters Taskforce announced today includes ABC’s managing director, Michelle Guthrie, actor Deborah Mailman, Seven Network’s head of drama, Julie McGauran and The Dressmaker producer, Sue Maslin.

Its aim will be to focus the sector on the inequality of female representation in front of and behind the camera, and look for ways to improve the situation.

Over the last five years, females have made up just 34% of producers, 15% of directors and 22% of writers.

“One of the distinguishing factors of Gender Matters is that the whole industry is along for the ride in recognition of the overriding commercial imperative,” said Cameron.

“This data stands as a reminder that just because gender equality in the screen industry has been a point of discussion, doesn’t mean that it’s translating into action industry-wide, particularly in feature film,” she added.

Joanna Werner, co-creator and producer of Dance Academy and chair of the Taskforce said it was important the industry didn’t become “complacent” despite early wins.

“Achieving gender equality in the screen industry now has momentum all over the world, but it’s important we don’t become complacent despite some early wins here in Australia,” Werner said.

“The Gender Matters Taskforce must not only assist Screen Australia’s efforts, but go beyond. We know feature film as an art form needs attention. We know not enough female writers and directors are working.

“These are lost opportunities – culturally and commercially. The Taskforce will be looking for ways to assist female creatives and female-led stories, right from early-career through to exhibition.”



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.