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NYC Will Spend $7.5 Million to Increase Number of Women in Film and TV

Studies have shown that women and other minorities are greatly underrepresented in the film and television industry. The city of New York wants to change this, so they are launching a $7.5 million program over the next five years to address this issue of inequity. The program is considered the very first of its kind anywhere.

NYC plans to spend $7.5 million on these efforts

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment initiated the program which is designed to support women in film and theater projects. It also includes a script-writing competition for 30-minute pilot scripts. Specific areas of focus include:

  • Grants to support film and theater projects by, for and about women
  • Workshops for women filmmakers and a conference that will help women filmmakers find financing for their projects
  • A screenwriting contest for NYC screenwriters to broadcast a six-episode series on New York City’s channel 25
  • New programming on channel 25 focused entirely on women and their perspectives
  • A report analyzing the gender inequity of directors in the film industry.

Although women make up 52 percent of the population in NYC, less than 10 percent of the top grossing films are directed by women. Women have plenty to say, and the ability to express their views is very important whether it is behind the camera or behind the scenes.

“The voices of women need to be heard. And in today’s world the media and film industries are powerful channels for those voices. Yet the statistics for women at the top of the film industry are worse than those for women in finance," states Barbara Byrne, Vice Chairwoman of Banking at Barclays, and a producer of the film ‘Equity’.

Read more, including how you can become part of this effort, by visiting