What is Cinesisters?
Cinesisters is a collective of female-identifying directors working across Film, TV and Commercials. It was set up by two female directors in 2017, who met at Edinburgh International Film Fest. The meetings for Cinesisters began in each other's homes, but they were so well attended we needed a larger space. A Core Team of Cinesisters was formally set up to reach out to office spaces and organisations to house these meetings. A website was also set up so that all members could have a public profile, in a bid to help us all find directing work.
In these early years, we teamed up with Directors UK to encourage funders and broadcasters to enforce parity with male and female directors. The statistics were diabolical at the time and have since improved. Most of the directors at these early meetings were only able to make short films and many have now made feature films and or worked on high-end drama series as the lead director. Cinesisters has helped shift the industry towards parity. We haven't got there yet, but it's better than it was.
In 2022 a new Core Team emerged. The pandemic changed the way we work and communicate. To reflect this, Cinesisters has three main objectives as we move into 2023 and beyond.
What are Cinesisters key objectives?
Providing a community for female-identifying screen directors through access and events.
Offering solidarity for female-identifying screen directors.
Driving activism within the industry around issues and challenges that female-identifying directors face.
How do you decide the priorities for Cinesisters?
These priorities are decided by the Core Team, who are all members. Every member is welcome to join the Core Team.
Who are the Core Team?
The Core Team are un-paid volunteers, mostly freelancers, who fit Cinesisters around their careers and families. As freelancers our availability changes, with regard to our work with Cinesisters.
Core Team: Aleksandra Czenczek, Amal Al-Agroobi, Anna Fredrikke Bjerke, Annabel Vine, Carys Watford, Chryssanthi Kouri, Deva Palmier, Diane Jessie Miller, Laura Scrivano, Laurel Parker, Louise C. Galizia, Naomi Wright, Rebecca Coley, Rosie Gaunt-Mathieson and Tayla Tibbon.
New Membership: Chryssanthi Kouri
Social Media: Carys Watford
Newsletter: Louise C. Galizia, Diane Jessie Miller
Meetings: Talya Tibbon, Naomi Wright, Laurel Parker
Writers & Creators Groups: Aleksandra Czenczek
Website: Deva Palmier
Screenings & Festivals: Laurel Parker, Anna Fredrikke Bjerk
Activism & Strategy: Laura Scrivano, Rosie Gaunt-Mathieson, Irene López Marco
What do I need to do to become a member?
To join Cinesisters you need to be a female-identifying director who has either made a feature film, has a broadcast TV credit, directed three TV commercials or funded branded campaigns for online. - Or has made at least three short films and is attached to direct TV or a feature film that is either in funded development or has a completed first draft.
If you have done a combination of these things or don't fit exactly into one category, please email us and share your relative experience.
What do I do to join?
Send evidence of the above to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is an annual membership fee of £15 to cover running costs, like website hosting, zoom membership and editing of the Cinesisters showreel. This fee will be reviewed annually. The intake year of new members begins in October and we will endeavor to have intakes, every three months. If you join in the second, third or final quarter you will remain on the website until the following October, when you will need to renew. Since it is such a low fee, there is no discount for joining part way through the year.
What is the difference between being a member and being on the Core Team?
Members have their profile on the website and access to all Cinesisters events and sessions. The Core Team are all members, who volunteer in the running of events, strategy, activism, PR, newsletter writing, social media, screenings, writer and creator groups. Any member can join the Core Team. We welcome more Core Team members since with Cinesisters, you get out what you put in.
Are you a charity?
Cinesisters is not a charity. We are a collective, who are not for profit. None of the Core Team are paid, but we will occasionally pay someone to support us, like an editor to cut the Cinesisters' showreel.
What events do you run?
We aim to run 6-12 panel events a year on zoom on specific industry based subjects that are useful for all directors. We are hoping to run 1-2 in person events a year, one being a fixed annual event.
Will you take requests for sessions?
We will be asking for feedback on proposed upcoming sessions through a members' survey. If you want certain sessions run, we welcome you to contact email@example.com with a proposal. We will ask you to bring together the panel. We may be able to recommend contacts and possibly chair the session. You will be asked to write a short overview of the session for our newsletter and we will give you access to the Cinesisters zoom.
What if I think Cinesisters should be focusing on certain issues?
Please join the Core Team and we will discuss if these could be part of our activism or strategy.
How can I be more involved?
As above, we welcome you to join the Core Team. Come to our events and share posts on social media. We plan to make more noise in 2023 and want our members to be more active.
Can you help members get work or an agent?
Cinesisters cannot get members work or an agent. We can give you access to panels and professional insight that may help your own journey or development in the industry, but as individuals we are developing our own careers and don’t have the time to do this for others.
Do you offer members mentoring or direct advice?
We don’t offer mentoring or direct advice through Cinesisters. We recommend the Directors UK Inspire scheme and the WFTV mentoring scheme. Occasionally Cinesister members will offer mentorships and attachments through their own work, and we will endeavor to post opportunities in our newsletter. Whilst as a collective we can’t offer 1-2-1 advice, we hope our programme of events and access to peers and professionals helps to answer your questions so you can develop your own career with confidence.
Can you get members' work seen?
Member profile's on the Cinesisters website enable anyone to access their site and work. We have held in person screenings, but are moving towards enabling our member's work to be seen in a different way.
We are also looking at different ways of profiling members on social media, to shout about their work. If you have ideas for this, please consider volunteering with Cinesisters and joining the Core Team.
I haven’t had a reply to my email
Please bear with us, the inbox is checked regularly around our work schedules. If you have emailed asking for something we don’t offer, then it may be that we will direct you to this page with our response.