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There's no question that film is still a man's world. 95 per cent of directors are men, according to the Centre of Study for Women in Television and Film, and while women represent 50% of film school graduates, they only make up 18% of directors screening features at film festivals. But things are slowly changing: women are making up an increasingly vocal contingent of the film industry, from female-centric festivals like Bird's Eye View to calls for better gender equality from actresses and directors like Geena Davis and Meryl Streep. Today, Dazed is doing our part to counter this shocking under-representation with Females First, our new film initiative.
Females First will see some of the world’s most respected female auteurs, including Gillian Wearing, Jane Campion, Maja Borg and Sarah Solemani, select the brightest young female filmmakers to present exclusive work on Dazed Digital. From art shorts and documentaries to music videos and fiction, Dazed will premiere the most exciting, bold and innovative moving image being produced by female directors today.
The series kicks off today with the premiere of Cannes Film Festival award-winner Needle by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, who was selected by Jane Campion. It's a sly, subtle take on coming-of-age by way of that quintessential teen-girl ritual: piercing your ears. "Needle impressed me with its humour clarity and unique tone," Campion told us. "I felt something I rarely do when watching short films – awed.”
Follow Zing Tsjeng on Twitter here @misszing