The winners of this year’s Women in Film and TV Awards have hailed the increased opportunities for female producers and directors in TV.
Though lamenting the fact that more than 70% of factual TV is directed by men, who typically get to make landmark authored films, Jenny Ash highlighted that half of Channel 4’s limited factual series and single documentaries were directed by women.
Picking up her director award, Ash, whose recent work includes Channel 5's Nuremberg and Channel 4's Me and My Penis, used a recent experience of her own to stress the importance of having fellow supportive women in her production team.
Describing one challenging incident with a potential contributor, she described how "at that very moment my female producers just rocked up out of nowhere like Charlie’s Angels". She added: "It’s not the first time I’ve been so thankful and grateful for the fabulously talented women I’ve been lucky enough to work with over the years.”
Ash's comments come as indies including Mindhouse TV, Flicker TV and Gold Star Productions sign up to We Are Doc Women's drive for indies to commit to gender parity for documentary directors.
Meanwhile, Candour TV director and executive producer Anna Hall, who took home the producer award, said that every one of her productions in the past eight years has had a female director.
In the past two years, her company had helped four female female-makers secure their network TV debuts and on a current production, all frontline shooting producers are women.
“I wanted to set up Candour to provide a place in factual television where having a baby as a documentary director is not the worst thing that can happen to you,” she said.
“I wanted to provide a place where we have compassion and we have flexibility and trust and really to help women grow as directors and as factual content producers… I feel like I’m trying to smash the patriarchy and fly the flag in Leeds.”
ITV creative diversity partner Nahrein Kemp won WFTV's achievement of the year award, while Douglas Road’s Angela Ferreira took home the digital business award.
For a full list of winners, click here