Women Filmmakers Hiring Women Worldwide Meeting EWA Network
EWA Network sat down with Lori Dovi in a terrace in Barcelona to find out more about her initiative to bring together women all over the world.
Lori is a veteran Production Sound Recordist of 20+ yrs who was born in San Francisco California where she got her start and has recorded sound for numerous documentary, narrative and commercial projects. She has recorded over 100 BBC, Chan 4 UK docs as well as projects for Germany's Pro Sieben. In addition her doc works include PBS, ITVS, HBO and many others. She also recorded sound for 'Riding Giants' a documentary about maverick big wave surf riding, which was the first doc to open the Sundance Film Festival. She has worked in the narrative space for directors and actors like Guillermo Arriaga, Tom Ford, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Kim Basinger, Harold Ramis, Tilda Swinton, Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Blunt to name a few. Some of her production sound credits include movies like 'Suicide Squad', 'A Single Man', 'Nocturnal Animals' and 'Terminator Salvation'. She was nominated for a MPSE sound award on the film 500 DAYS OF SUMMER.
She is also a member of the CAS (Cinema Audio Society, Union IATSE 695 and Union IATSE 16).
Lori is the founder and administrator for Women Filmmakers Hiring Women Worldwide!, a FB group based in Los Angeles. She was inspired to start this group 3 months ago, one week before Frances McDormand's 'inclusion rider' unexpected speech at the Academy Awards. The group was created in response to a growing need for women filmmakers to help each other economically by bringing together women 'above the line' whom have resources to hire women 'below the line' whom have the skills and expertise in their areas. The vision was to create a micro economy globally for women filmmakers. The idea was immediately put to the test. Within 2 days of the FB group formation a request came from a Santa Monica based woman producer looking for a woman producer in Milan Italy to help with a commercial project. The two producers were successfully put together. The group has now grown to 4000 women worldwide from 60 countries in 3 months!
There are also 'brainstorming' smaller sessions taking place in order to information share and help create an infrastructure for a woman's filmmaking economy ie how to develop venture capital for funding women's films through technology sector, private money from established women directors, production co's, actresses and crowdfunding to name a few. Lori is also currently creating The Women's Filmmaker Resource Directory in both print and online versions to be shared worldwide with production houses, studios and filmmakers who will need a consolidated reference as more and more productions are stepping up and wanting 'inclusion and parity' in the job interview and hiring process.
The Directory is expected to be launched by the end of this year! Basic listings will be free for women filmmakers from pre production to distribution and will include all job occupations and global regions.
She is now traveling through Europe to meet with members from Women Filmmakers Hiring Women Worldwide!, as well as women filmmakers from EWA Network and other groups. Meet & Greets have been set up in Berlin (June 14 & 15), London (June 22 & 23) and Barcelona (June 27th). France, Italy and Sweden will come together shortly.
Lori explained us what inspired her to start forming an initiative for a Women Filmmakers Worldwide Resource Directory as well as discussion towards a venture capital fund that would support womens films from pre pro to distribution.
After being in film production for such a long time with my start in San Francisco CA and now in Los Angeles, I witnessed a lot of inequality in film production towards women. I worked on sets of 200 crew members and saw so few women on set was glaring as well as the sexist attitudes by other male crew members. More recently on social media whenever there was a call by someone for a woman to do a particular job on a shoot, there was so much reaction by men. The women were intimiated and so few spoke up.
Now with our momentum women are standing up, risking their reputations and future work on shows by speaking out against the notion of 'reverse discrimination'. I saw this courage but also saw the exhaustion to keep fighting. So I decided to start a group called 'Women Filmmakers Hiring Women Worldwide!'.
I decided this would be a safe place all over the world for women to help each other get work without consequence, just support! The idea was to bring the women with financing or heads of production together with women who had skills and expertise. The group grew overnight. I'm now excited about the beginning stages of creating a Women Filmmaker Worldwide Directory. This is why I am travelling over Europe meeting hundreds of women to get ideas and share my concept. This is a large endeavor no doubt! The data collection is very tedious, but must be done as the time is right. The Directory will go into the hands of studios, production houses, directors, producers etc who want to interview and hire women.
As far the venture capital fund for women's films that is an even bigger undertaking but can be done with private money. The basic idea is to target the technology sector which is comprised of younger and more progressive people. Also appeal to A list actresses, directors, production companies who are at the top and have money, as well as crowdfunding. They would invest in the fund with a percentage out upon sale of the film. Which takes me to the big need for more women controlled distribution outlets, because without that vehicle you can't make money nor can your investors and thus no exposure for your product.
After her MEET & GREETs in Berlin and London, EWA Network members will be meeting Lori Dovi in Barcelona on June 27th. Keep tuned!