WIFT NSW pens open letter to AACTA board addressing selection transparency

11 December, 2016 by The WIFT NSW Committee

Dear AACTA Board, 

Five days ago we published the Charter for Gender Equity at the AACTA Awards and yet we have received no official comment or response from you.


WIFT NSW, as a membership organization for female filmmakers, is dedicated to creating a fair and diverse industry and as such, must hold to account all bodies that have an impact on the current and future opportunities and exposure of our members and their work.

It is essential that Australia’s highest national awards body publicly commit to improving an opaque selection process that resulted in a disproportionately low representation of female-driven and focused films in the 2016 awards category. 

The Charter, drafted in consultation with members and film academics, addresses both immediate and long term strategic changes to the AACTA Award selection process and overall values, including but not limited to:

Transparency of selection criteria and assessment including a minimum fifty percent of female judges within all selection juries, clearly published demographic information of all judges, clearly published criteria by which a pre-selected film passes or fails eligibility as well as clearly stated rationale for any decision to waive eligibility for any pre-selected film.

Consistency of criteria to allow fair and honest assessment of all content including an immediate review of pre-selection criteria to include films released through hybrid or alternative release models.

Intensity of commitment to change through development of Gender Equity Policies with measurable KPIs that AACTA will be accountable for, in consultation with WIFT NSW and our affiliate scholars and researchers.

We call on AACTA president Geoffrey Rush, CEO Damian Trewhella and the AACTA Board to make an immediate response to the above and to the call for open dialogue between AACTA and WIFT NSW, both members of Australian Screen Industries Inter Guilds.