With the number of women directing the top 100 movies set to triple this year, AFI and Audi continue their commitment to champion female directors in film and television through the campaign “Changing the Chairs.” Making its debut at this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi, “Changing the Chairs” will celebrate, embrace and recognize the change happening now within the industry – more women directing big budget films, more women in leadership positions and more opportunities for women to share their perspective. To kick off the campaign, a large interactive installation created by artist Kate Raudenbush will be stationed on the red carpet for 8 days and 8 nights to illuminate the success made by female directors, honor those who helped pave the way and advocate that more stories need to be told by women. Two additional interactive art installations will be placed at the Roosevelt Lobby and the Cineplex Lobby during FEST for attendees to sit and take pictures with in their support of the #DriveProgress initiative.
AFI is proud to be on the forefront of this change – 51% of the films at this year’s festival are women-directed and 49% of the AFI Conservatory Fellows are women. In partnership with Audi, AFI FEST has also launched a dedicated web page celebrating the success of the past year to increase diversity in storytelling, including highlighting all the films directed by women that are screening at AFI FEST. And along with the debut of the campaign, a short video directed by the first AFI recipient of the Audi Fellowship, Natalie Camou, will also premiere on opening night of the festival.
To share the #ChangingTheChairs campaign with all audiences during the festival, AFI and Audi are lifting up female directors and sharing their responses to a very important question: “What changes when a woman sits in the director’s chair?” From increasing underrepresented voices to creating more complex storytelling, the answers show the transformative effects of having a woman in the director’s chair.
“Everything. Everything changes when a woman sits in a director’s chair. A female director provides female characters with depth and a refreshing and accurate depiction of how life is lived. Women need to be in the director’s chair because we’re in a time where women need to be heard, represented and defended. – Isabella Issa, Director (YELLOW GIRL AND ME)
“Having a woman sit in the director’s chair will inspire generations of little girls to conquer that chair one day too. Having many WOMEN taking these seats, will guarantee equality and diversity in storytelling perspectives and representation.” – Oran Zegman, Director (MARRIAGE MATERIAL, THE MUSICAL!)
To see all the films directed by women at this year’s AFI FEST and to learn more about the campaign visit FEST.AFI.com/changing-the-chairs.