Move over Sundance, this year is all about the Bechdel Test Fest – a year-long film festival staged throughout 2015 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Alison Bechdel comic that first established The Rule.
Most films fall short of the Bechdel Test Rule, despite how overwhelmingly simple it might seem.
‘It’s staggering how many films don’t pass,’ says Corrina Antrobus, creator of the Bechdel Test Fest. ‘I think it’s a lot to do with the lack of women making films. It’s something like 17% of the directors in Hollywood are women (when looking at the 250 highest-grossing films of 2014) and, obviously, when you have a female directors there’s way more chance that it’ll pass the test.’
Corrina first came up with the idea for the festival after watching a TED Talk by Colin Stokes, who started taking a look at the representation of gender in film when his daughter was born and came back with depressing findings. 'The TED Talk starts off quite funny, but he ends up wondering what kind of message Hollywood is giving his children,' says Corrina. 'We need to make sure women are presented in an equal light in film otherwise it creates detrimental problems in society regarding the way men treat women.’
So what does Corrina hope to achieve with the Bechdel Test Fest? ‘Just to create conversation and to ask the question where are the women? Let’s talk about it!’ Hear hear.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.