Women in Film | Phumla Zita
Happy International women’s day, an exciting time to be alive
When I think of International women’s day, I cannot help but look back and think of women who have walked before us. What was life like for them? Especially in the creative arts. No one can imagine what it was like for them.
I feel lucky and privileged to be a woman in 2021. Where possibilities are endless, a world I can dream and where my voice can be heard. Where men and the world can sit and listen to what I have to say. 100 years ago, women back then can never imagine the world we are living in now. It is all thanks to women who stood up for us to be able to enjoy the privileges we are enjoying now.
As a creative and filmmaker, a woman and a mother I am inspired by how women have stood up and demanded the world to sit and listen to our stories told by us women!
Women in the film industry have come a long way - do not get me wrong - there is so much that needs to be done, to educate girls and empower them. Alice Guy-Blaché, was the first-ever female film director, as well as the first director of a fiction film. Blaché directed her first film in 1896 and over her lifetime, "she directed between 40 to 50 films and supervised nearly 300 other productions". And now, for the first time in Golden Globes history, many best director nominations were women: Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, Regina King for One Night in Miami and winner Chloé Zhao for Nomadland.
Working on film productions as a transport co-ordinator in a male-dominated department, I worked as the only woman in my department for years. As much as women have come through as producers and directors, they should be given opportunities to be involved in all roles in film production.
As a mother having to take time off for the children sometimes, I did feel like I was not understood, men rarely took time off for the children. As a woman, you do feel the pressure and you do not want to be labelled the woman 'always taking time off' - you do not want to be seen as weak. Because the film industry is such a competitive industry and people are easily replaceable you constantly want to prove yourself.
However, the world is ready to hear us, we need to be bold and take the chances. Let's do more for the upcoming generation.
What an exciting time to be a woman!! Cheers to you all Mamas!
Phumla is a South African writer and production assistant who has worked on numerous film and television productions including Tomb Raider (2018). She is a proud mum of 3 currently living in Glasgow.