At events in Wellington and in Auckland this week, the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) announced an annual scholarship programme for women. Suggested by acclaimed New Zealand screenwriter, producer and director, Jane Campion, the programme will offer scholarships across different disciplines in the screen industry where female participation is low. The programme will be championed by a different female filmmaker each year.
“We are pleased to announce the inaugural scholarship is the JC CineFem Scholarship for women aspiring to a career as a cinematographer,” says NZFC CEO, Dave Gibson. “The scholarship will provide an opportunity for a visually-minded woman with the passion and ambition to step into the world of cinematography an internship with a local or international cinematographer of her choice. Applicants for the scholarship could be an emerging Director of Photography, a Camera Assistant or stills photographer.”
The NZFC and Jane Campion will use their networks and connections to set the winning applicant up with an inspiring mentorship with their preferred cinematographer. The mentorship will take place over 10 to 12 months and it is expected the recipient will participate in seminars or workshops to share their knowledge upon completion. Gibson urges applicants to 'shoot for the stars' with their suggestions of proposed cinematographers.
“The scholarship programme is flexible, responsive and open to the challenges of women working in the screen industry,” says Gibson. “So those with responsibilities which formerly might have prevented them from applying for a scholarship such as this, are encouraged to do so.”
Launching the scholarship programme, Gibson also outlined the NZFC's commitment to increasing the number of women working in the film industry, particularly in key creative roles. The scholarship programme is one part of the five-pronged approach the NZFC will take to address the issue of gender imbalance.
Applications for the scholarship close at 5pm on May 1st and the successful candidate is expected to be announced within six weeks of that date. Details of criteria and how to apply can be found on the NZFC's website.