Demonstrating against the gender inequality in the film and TV industries, a group of 15 protestors dressed as sausages crash Australia’s Annual screen Awards, chanting “end the sausage party.”
Organizing the Protest
The protest was organized by the organization Women in Film and Television NSW (WIFT). This was a demonstration against the fact that of 28 narrative feature films selected for AACTA Screening, only 2 were directed and driven by women.
“We’re actually here, dressed appropriately for Australia’s biggest sausage party,” they told the media. We’re really calling on AACTA to serve up some more transparency in their really poor gender performance.”
According to the analysis of academics at Deakin University, “data from AACTA and the Australian Film Institute showed that of 334 producers who worked on feature films – excluding documentaries – submitted to the awards between 2006 and 2015, a total of 126 (37%) were women.”
“Of the 218 men, 89 did not work with a single woman as either producer, director or writer: just under 41% of all male producers, working across a 10-year period.”
Australian Film Television and Radio School reports show that from 1973 to 2015, about 48% of all graduates in some area of film-making, were women.
WIFT posted their demonstration live on Facebook, with a caption saying they “staged a public protest to highlight the disproportionately low amount of nominations and pre-selected films directed an driven by female creatives.”
The protestors were removed from the event by security, without the need for police involvement.
WIFT founder, Sophie Mathisen, told Guardian Australia, the protest was a “very loud and bold statement.” “Aacta purports to be a celebration of Australia screen excellence, and at the moment it’s a celebration of a very, very narrow part of the industry. There are a huge number of women that are working outside of the system that don’t even get a look-in.”
In December 2015, Screen Australia announced a five-point plan (worth 5 million AUD) to address gender inequality in the film industry. However Mathisen said more action was needed for faster results and that Australia is behind in terms of gender imbalance in film.