Aussie Women In Film

Aussie Women In Film

This year’s 78th Golden Globe Awards is a moment in history and not only because it is being held in the eye of the Covid storm but because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has nominated three female directors in the Best Director In A Motion Picture category. They include Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, Regina King for One Night In Miami and Chloé Zhao for Nomadland.

That’s three out of five possible nominations, which also included David Fincher for Mank and Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

It’s a positive sign of the lucrative power of female directors and one that may have a rollon effect in the Australian film industry, which also has many strong female directors, ready to take their share of big budget productions.

But back to the Golden Globes, which is due to take place on February 28th at the Beverly Hilton (and incidentally has two female hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.)

According to US trade publication, Variety, it’s the first time in history that more than one woman was nominated for best director. Only five women have ever been nominated previously – Barbra Streisand (for 1983’s Yentl and 1991’s The Prince of Tides), Jane Campion (for 1993’s The Piano), Sofia Coppola (for 2003’s Lost in Translation) and Kathryn Bigelow (for 2010’s The Hurt Locker and 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty). Streisand is the only woman to ever win the Globe for directing Yentl.

But this year could be different. It seems that female directors are very popular right now, which some commentators attribute to a reaction to the #metoo movement, which was in its earliest days, a Hollywood story. However it might also have something to do with a woman’s unique perspective and the fluency of their language to communicate emotions, which increasingly resonates with audiences, shell shocked by the pandemic.

Australia is well placed to champion its female directors at present thanks to an influx of major film productions.

During the pandemic, Australia has been seen as a relatively safe destination to shoot and the government has also been dangling huge carrots to attract overseas productions.

Last July, AusFilm chief executive, Kate Marks said the location marketing agency had received $1.2 billion worth of genuine inquiries from the makers of about 20 US-backed movies and TV series. Marks now believes international projects worth $460 million have tapped federal and state filming incentives to base themselves here this year.

Australian female directors will no doubt benefit from the money that is also being indirectly pumped into the local industry and increasingly circulated.  

Just last week, it was reported that Disney’s Marvel, who currently have Thor: Love and Thunder underway at Fox Studios, will shoot more blockbuster films in Australia.

Marvel has already invested in the celebrated Australian film maker, Cate Shortland, who directed  the Marvel movie, Black Widow, which will open later this year.

There’s many other female directing names to watch out for including  Nel Minchin - who co-directed Fire Starter - The Story of Bangara with Wayne Blair, which is currently in the cinemas.

Another stellar name is Danielle MacLean who wrote and directed Queen Of  Hearts and worked on Mystery Road season two, which debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival.

And Korean Australian film-maker, Unjoo Moon who directed the Helen Reddy biopic, I Am Woman. Closer to home, award-winning stage and screen director, Shannon Murphy directed Babyteeth with Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn.

Of course, there’s many more names but with such a wealth of female directorial talent on display in this country, there could well be a female-lead recovery for the Australian film industry. And this  could be just as powerful as the one shaking up the Golden Globes Best Motion Picture Nominations now.


ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books.

She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 

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Aussie Women In Film
This year’s 78th Golden Globe Awards is a moment in history and not only because it is being held in the eye of the Covid storm but because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has nominated three female directors in the Best Director In A Motion Picture category. They include Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, Regina King for One Night In Miami and Chloé Zhao for Nomadland. That’s three out of five possible nominations, which also included David Fincher for Mank and Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s a positive sign of the lucrative power of female directors and one that may have a rollon effect in the Australian film industry, which also has many strong female directors, ready to take their share of big budget productions. But back to the Golden Globes, which is due to take place on February 28th at the Beverly Hilton (and incidentally has two female hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.) According to US trade publication, Variety, it’s the first time in history that more than one woman was nominated for best director. Only five women have ever been nominated previously – Barbra Streisand (for 1983’s Yentl and 1991’s The Prince of Tides), Jane Campion (for 1993’s The Piano), Sofia Coppola (for 2003’s Lost in Translation) and Kathryn Bigelow (for 2010’s The Hurt Locker and 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty). Streisand is the only woman to ever win the Globe for directing Yentl. But this year could be different. It seems that female directors are very popular right now, which some commentators attribute to a reaction to the #metoo movement, which was in its earliest days, a Hollywood story. However it might also have something to do with a woman’s unique perspective and the fluency of their language to communicate emotions, which increasingly resonates with audiences, shell shocked by the pandemic. Australia is well placed to champion its female directors at present thanks to an influx of major film productions. During the pandemic, Australia has been seen as a relatively safe destination to shoot and the government has also been dangling huge carrots to attract overseas productions. Last July, AusFilm chief executive, Kate Marks said the location marketing agency had received $1.2 billion worth of genuine inquiries from the makers of about 20 US-backed movies and TV series. Marks now believes international projects worth $460 million have tapped federal and state filming incentives to base themselves here this year. Australian female directors will no doubt benefit from the money that is also being indirectly pumped into the local industry and increasingly circulated.   Just last week, it was reported that Disney’s Marvel, who currently have Thor: Love and Thunder underway at Fox Studios, will shoot more blockbuster films in Australia. Marvel has already invested in the celebrated Australian film maker, Cate Shortland, who directed  the Marvel movie, Black Widow, which will open later this year. There’s many other female directing names to watch out for including  Nel Minchin - who co-directed Fire Starter - The Story of Bangara with Wayne Blair, which is currently in the cinemas. Another stellar name is Danielle MacLean who wrote and directed Queen Of  Hearts and worked on Mystery Road season two, which debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival. And Korean Australian film-maker, Unjoo Moon who directed the Helen Reddy biopic, I Am Woman. Closer to home, award-winning stage and screen director, Shannon Murphy directed Babyteeth with Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn. Of course, there’s many more names but with such a wealth of female directorial talent on display in this country, there could well be a female-lead recovery for the Australian film industry. And this  could be just as powerful as the one shaking up the Golden Globes Best Motion Picture Nominations now. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 
How do I get the Golden Globes glow?
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