Support from within

I’m embarrassed to say the last time I posted was on February 13, almost a year ago. It’s been a wild and crazy ride since then and while there’s no point attempting to recount everything that’s happened in the 10 months since I last wrote, there are a few things I’d like to touch on.

The first is how much I’ve learnt during that time. Rosie Lourde (Starting From … Now! producing partner and actor) and I joke that we’re up to lesson number 658. Whilst said in jest, I actually think it’s not too far from the truth. Since February we (with the help of others) have spent countless hours working on funding applications, resulting in funding from both Screen Australia and Screen NSW; we’ve secured community and corporate partnerships; we’ve assembled a cast and crew for both Seasons 4 and 5 of SFN; shot both seasons and are now currently in post on Season 4 with a release date of early 2016 – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot that went on underneath and in between that I can’t possibly remember and some of which is probably best to forget. As a former teacher I highly value learning and believe it’s imperative for our development as human beings. However, it would be nice, occasionally, to not have to learn all lessons the hard way.

Having said that, I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to do what I do. Working on SFN has brought me great pleasure and satisfaction and is, by far, the most rewarding thing I’ve done professionally. The primary reason for this is the quality and character of people I’ve been able to work with and the incredible support we’ve received from within the industry. While I’ve worked with some wonderful men during this time (you know who you are) the bulk of the working relationships I’ve had throughout this process have been with women. The support we’ve received from women within the industry has been incredible.

There’s been much talk in the press lately about gender (in)equality in the film and television industry and representations of women on screen. As such, you’re probably aware of the mind-blowing statistics and stunned by the fact that women are still marginalized in 2015. However, it feels as though the tide is turning. Initiatives have been put in place by funding bodies and other industry organisations and the issue is being discussed on a number of platforms. What we’ve found on a more practical level is that there is real and genuine support from women within the industry. A number of accomplished and talented women have reached out to us and generously given us the benefit of both their time and immense talent to help this project grow. This has been invaluable to us personally and to SFN as a whole. I think there’s a gross misconception in the industry, and society in general, that women see each other as rivals and don’t support each other’s careers. From my experience, this is far from the truth. The collegiality and support is there and the more we utilize this and help each other, the more we benefit as individuals, the stronger the film and television industry becomes, and the closer we come to redressing the inequities in our industry.

I look forward to continued change within the industry next year and beyond. The potential is there, but it’s also what we make of it. I’ll take any opportunity I can to support other women and help them to further their careers.

Thank you to everyone (both women and men) who’ve been a part of SFN this year. It’s been a hell of a year. I’m exhausted, but grateful, and I’m very much looking forward to the New Year. If you thought this year was big, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

By Julie Kalceff