In 2015, Monica Davidson’s thesis, Climbing the Celluloid Ladder, raised the issue of gender equality in the flm and television industry, which had been dormant for years. Many in the industry believed the issue had been dealt with in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and no longer needed priority. Monica’s research revealed a vastly different story, including that only 16% of feature flms were directed by a woman.
Published in the AFTRS journal Lumina: Women in Film, and publicised widely in the industry, her findings kick-started major initiatives for gender equality, including Gender Matters at Screen Australia. This programme is a suite of initiatives that address gender imbalance by providing $5 million over three years for script development, project funding, business development, professional attachments, and paid internships.
Monica, a 2014 Woman of Infuence, is producer and director of Girlhouse Films. She has certainly made a feminist difference for women in her industry.
Photography by Pagan Kael