Local and international screen industry heavyweights will gather in Auckland in October for a major summit that aims to stimulate conversations about gender, representation and belonging in today’s screen, entertainment and technology landscape.
The Power of Inclusion will be hosted by New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and Women in Film and Television International (WIFITI), with support from The Walt Disney Studios.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) will join keynote speakers, panels and in conversations that include writers and directors Niki Caro and Haifaa Al Mansour, Charles D. King, MACRO founder & CEO, The Black List founder Franklin Leonard, writer and producer Philippa Boyens, leading expert on social change in media, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, breakthrough actor, film and theatre maker Ana Scotney (Ngāti Tāwhaki), along with the support of Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with further speakers and the full program yet to be announced.
NZFC Chief Executive Annabelle Sheehan said the summit reflected the rising wave of under-represented voices now breaking through old screen industry norms and barriers. “The New Zealand Film Commission is committed to empowering greater inclusion and diversity in the New Zealand screen sector. In hosting the summit, the New Zealand voice will figure in the expanding global screen economy.”
This summit follows the NZFC’s creation of the 125 fund - an investment fund to celebrate 125 years since New Zealand women won the right to vote, promoting New Zealand’s international leadership in women’s rights. The fund is open to dramatic features in any genre and offers an investment of $1.25 million each for up to two projects where the director and at least one other key creative is a woman.
President of WIFTI Helene Granqvist says: “On the heels of #metoo, it is more important than ever that women organize to support each other in the crucial work for equal rights and the same opportunities afforded to men. WIFT networks all over the globe have been working together for more than 40 years and we will continue until we have equal representation throughout the industry."
Taking place in Auckland, Aotearoa on October 3 and 4, the event will also look at core changes in the industry, from the disruption of distribution models to how the boundaries of storytelling are being pushed further and further and the effects of changes in technology.