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  • Alexandra Boyd

Well, 2023 is in full swing and it's time for me to reflect on where we are and how far we've come. It doesn't seem like three years ago – on the brink of two years of COVID lockdown – that Carla Orrú and I were sitting in the BAFTA bar in Piccadilly choosing a name for our non-profit. A name that would embody the mission we have to inspire young women to become filmmakers – and Artemisia's Daughters was born.

A website URL was purchased and the design begun. A bank account opened and our legal status obtained. Then we would talk about ways we could create free workshops with working professionals to share what they know about directing, producing, cinematography and sound design – and then we were locked. Stopped. Literally.

So the next obvious thing was to start our podcast Fierce Female Filmmakers. It was so inspiring and exciting to engage other women in the industry to tell their stories of education, mentors, struggles and triumphs. This year we will start recording Season Two and already have some exciting guests lined up.

And we couldn't talk about making young filmmakers without making some young filmmakers!

So last summer we raised the cash to shoot a short film in London. The all-female crew (except for our one brave sound guy!) gave of their time and expertise for two days. Eight young people from the Hebe Foundation got some hands on experience in acting, operating the camera, recording sound and learning about the very specific world of a film set. Something I wish I'd had the opportunity to do before I started in the industry. It was extremely rewarding for everyone involved and something we hope to repeat many times as we grow.

Because we are working with volunteers, post production has been slow and we are still on the look out for some animators to add to the film – please send them our way if you know any. We will be sharing "I Have A Story" soon – with a little premiere – and looking for a script for the next one...

Part of our mission at Artemisia's Daughters is to employ more women.

I met the composer I hired for my latest feature film when we interviewed her for a Fierce Female Filmmakers podcast. Charli Mackie is deep into her Masters degree at the National Film and Television School but found the time to write an amazing score for us.

While there has been some progress in female representation in many production roles, it is still a rarity to come across a woman composer writing for the major productions. By talking, engaging with and connecting filmmakers with each other, we aim to help change what many accept as the norm and see the day when there is a 50/50 ratio not only for composers, but for any role in film and TV production.

We are very excited for the future of our organisation. Three years is not very long, and we still have so far to go. As a director, I was disappointed yet again by the 2023 Academy Awards nominations, where not one woman was on the shortlist. Oscar winner Sam Mendes says that he sees a time when the shows will all be gender neutral, to which I would say, the Best Director category is already gender neutral but what's missing is the opportunities for women to make films in the same numbers because it is not equal.

It is a generational thing and Artemisia's Daughters wants to start 'em young.

Young women need to see themselves in roles that I never saw women doing. That way they will make their own work, employ each other and create a more equal and balanced set.

That's what I'm trying to do.

Alexandra Boyd

Co-Founder Artemesia's Daughters

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*Data from the The Celluloid Ceiling:Employment of Behind-the-Scenes Women on Top Grossing U.S. Films in 2022 shows that last year 91% of the top 250 grossing films in the US had no women composers

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