Women Push For Top Roles Behind Camera

By Paul Guzzo
Tampa Tribune, Fla.


Mici Falvo is living her dream of a career in the production industry.

For the past eight years, the 31-year-old Tampa woman has worked steadily as an independent contractor, accumulating a resume that includes six short films, eight features and too many commercials and marketing videos to count. Her jobs have included unit production manager — a set’s lead administrator.

Still, Falvo has yet to accomplish her ultimate goal of directing a movie — and statistics show her chances are slim.

The reason: She’s a woman.

Just 7 percent of directors who made the top 250 grossing films in 2014 were women, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

“It’s deflating knowing women are not getting opportunities as directors,” said Falvo. “I’d like to believe talent will rise to the top, but I guess not always.”

An effort to turn this around is getting a boost in Tampa and St. Petersburg through a new, local chapter of Women In Film & Television, organized by Tampa-Hillsborough film commissioner Dale Gordon.

With chapters in 40 countries, the organization helps develop opportunities for women in the production industry.

The local chapter’s first networking meeting will be 5:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Epicurean Hotel on Howard Avenue.
Falvo will be there.

“I’m looking forward to sharing experiences with other women in this industry who aspire for a more equal working environment.”

Future events will include screening female-directed movies, educational workshops and female-based panel discussion.
Gordon also hopes to establish scholarships one day.

“It is a problem the industry as a whole needs to address,” Gordon said. “We need to make sure that talent can equal success for a woman in film.”

No female directors were nominated for the 2015 Oscar for best director.

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