There is a chance out of two that you, who read me, be a woman; even more than that, since women read more than men!
Half of humanity are women. A half! It's not a trivial amount, is it? And yet, do we see or hear as much this half of humanity as the other? No. No, and since since the dawn of time. But, thanks to The 51 FUND I mentioned in my previous blog post, at last, in the 21st century, this will change.
We are not necessarily aware of this, but the impact of cinema and television series on our lives is enormous. Why?
Because the stories invented by Men are the oldest teaching of humanity. Whether oral stories transmitted by word of mouth from generation to generation, video games, books, drama, movies or series, from time immemorial and forever, we project ourselves into real life through stories; we apprehend the world through stories; we understand each other and situate ourselves in society through stories.
Who invents the stories? Who transposes the world through stories? Women and men.
Who has the opportunity to broadcast his stories? There, it seems that they are more men. This is what Naomi McDougall Jones tells us :
"In a time when the world is overwhelmed with problems of depth and weight, it is easy to dismiss films as mere entertainment – something perhaps unworthy of our serious time and resources. But to do so misses the fact that films are a great deal more than two hours in a darkened theater.
Every society throughout the history of mankind has shared some form of storytelling. Storytelling, then, is not a frivolity. It proves to be as necessary to us humans as food and water. Why? Because storytelling is the essential way in which we process the experience of being alive. It gives us our humanity and empathy. It is how we learn about each other, our world, and ourselves.
The impact, then, of that storytelling representing almost exclusively the male perspective, omitting the experience of 51% of our population, is profound. It ripples out into our daily lives, shaping our behavior, relationships, and identities, affecting girls, boys, men, and women alike."
"But there are some films made by women directors or with female leading roles!" you will tell me.
Yes there are some. But how many? I am going to tell you:
In the United-States, "If you have watched mostly American movies in your lifetime, 95% of all the films you have ever seen were directed by men. Somewhere between 80 and 90 % of all of the leading characters that you have ever seen were men." Naomi McDougall Jones.
In France, only 21% of feature films are made by women. Only 27% of recipe advances aimed at encouraging the production of the first films are awarded to female director projects. Let's not even discuss the subject of the average salary of a female director, which is 42% less than that of a male director!
"But," you will object again, "no matter wether a film is written and directed by a man or by a woman, as long as it is good?"
The stories told in the movies, like all the stories, whatever their medium, represent a vision of our lives. If women always have the supporting role, are always weak or isolated, always need the help of a man to survive; if their thought and their word are always smaller in quantity and quality than that of men, it is thus that women will see themselves, and will be seen. This is not about women taking back the power that men have attributed to themselves since the dawn of time. It is only about rebalancing humanity harmoniously.
“The fact is – women are seriously under-represented across nearly all sectors of the globe, not just on-screen. But for the most part we‘re simply not aware of the extent. And media images exert a powerful influence in creating and perpetuating our unconscious biases. However, media images can also have a very positive impact on our perceptions. In the time it takes to make a movie, we can change what the future looks like.” Geena Davis, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Thanks, among others, to this brand new private equity fund to finance films by female directors : THE 51 FUND, spectators ? women and men ?, will finally be able to watch stories written and realised by women storytellers and realisators.
If a little voice whispers you: “Women's movies? Sentimental romance and boredom guaranteed!”
Shut it up by going to see these movies! Because, contrary to what some men think, women can not be sorted out in only four boxes: the daughter, the mother, the femme fatale or the angel of goodness. Women are as diverse as the stories they can finally tell, as the films they can finally achieve! And above all, women don’t have to compete, but can be in solidary and/or friends.
THE 51 FUND, it’s a few talented women, with experienced and successful careers, who decided together to create their own production company. A beautiful story of female solidarity, a beautiful story of heart that I present to you here.
In November 2018, THE 51 FUND was born. It is an investment fund that will finance films written and directed by women. THE 51 FUND is the creation of talented and visionary women with a distinguished career in film industry and finance: Naomi McDougall Jones, Jessica Goodman, Lois Scott, Caitlin Gold and Lindsay Lanzillotta.
THE 51 FUND, it’s the voice of women stifled for centuries, but finally heard, like that of George Sand, in Indiana, in 1832:
"Is the cause I was defending so small? It is that of half of the human race, it is that of the entire human race; for the woe of woman leads to that of man, as that of the slave entails that of the master."
At last, in the 21st century, The 51 Fund will bring to cinema a female vision, a new and full of joy vision of a world yet to be discovered. It is not a vain hope to believe that later, through the dissemination of women's stories, there will be women to explore other female aspects of the world. And this new and at last balanced world will wonderfully surprise us all.
Thank you, extraordinary women founders of THE 51 FUND, who, through their investment, their work, their commitment, will change our lives as women, as girls, as Men generally.
"By changing the story, we can truly change the world." Naomi McDougall Jones.
Founding General Partner of THE 51 FUND