Bumble makes the leap into film content with new scheme to help aspiring female filmmakers, Bumble Presents...The Female Film Force.
The initiative will give five female filmmakers in the UK and Ireland a £20,000 grant to make their own short films, each focused on female empowerment, equality and kindness.
In partnership with Women in Film & TV, the five entrants will receive guidance and bespoke mentoring over the production period.
Budding filmmakers can apply for the opportunity through the apps Bumble, Bumble Bizz or Bumble BFF. By creating a profile of who they are, their relevant experience and a summary of the concept of their film, women can match with an in-app card which will link through to an online application.
Bumble, launched as a dating and networking app which required women to speak first to their matches, is encouraging writers, directors and producers to connect with other female creatives to work on the films through their Bumble Bizz network, to create a fairer playing field for women in the film industry, on and off screen.
“Bumble is ready, and running, with our teams across the world actively focusing and prioritising activations and initiatives that can help shift the dial for gender equality," commented Bumble Founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe. "The imbalance we saw over this year's awards season at the Oscars, Golden Globes and the BAFTAs was truly shocking."
Only 15% of the 2018 Oscar award winners were female, with only six women taking to the stage to accept an award, and only 20% of the winners at the BAFTA Film Awards 2018 were women.
Women In Film And TV reported that, in 2017, women comprised only 18% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing films.
"Women are incredible storytellers, and creators, and we want to see more of their stories told," Wolfe continued. "That's why we're launching The Female Film Force to empower and support five female filmmakers in the UK to make an actual change in this industry. We know how many talented women there are out there - and we want to see them represented accurately.”
The submissions will be judged by a panel of industry professionals, including Edith Bowman, Kate Kinninmont MBE, Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of the Galaxy), Georgina Campbell (Black Mirror), Nicholas Pinnock (Marcella), Helen Bownass, Emily Phillips and Louise Troen.
"The stats unfortunately speak for themselves. Anything that actively affects change by addressing the gender imbalance is a great start! Short films are a wonderful way to get your foot in the door of this industry," said actress Georgina Campbell.
"The most excitingly ambitious and creative sets I have been on are short film sets. I strongly encourage anyone to apply who has a story to tell... We want to see it!”
Applications close on the 23 May. A shortlist of filmmakers will be asked to submit further materials to support their ideas, with ten chosen women asked to pitch to the industry panel in July. The five chosen filmmakers will be announced on 30 July, with films delivered in January 2019 and showcased at an exclusive industry event.