Stylist teams up with Sought After Actress Gemma Chan to launch Under Her Eye a new initiative to galvanise female film reviewers
Stylist talks to Gemma Chan about the lack of female representation in the film industry, and why representation on both sides of the screen matters more than ever.
In this issue, Gemma Chan urges women to step up and take action
This week’s issue of Stylist, out Wednesday 8th August 2018
Stylist, the leading women’s magazine for the metropolitan audience, has today partnered with actor Gemma Chan to launch Under Her Eye, a campaign aimed to shine a light on female film reviewers. The name for the campaign was inspired by hit TV series The Handmaid’s Tale and the well-known phrase ‘under his eye’.
The partnership will be announced in this week’s magazine, where the team will launch their own panel of female film critics who are committed to reviewing film through the female gaze.
Stylist will run a competition to find the new generation of female film critics, asking aspiring reviewers to enter via the magazine or website. The winners will receive a regular review slot within the brand, mentoring from leading female critics and the opportunity to attend a major film festival on behalf of the brand. The reviewers will also have the opportunity to write regular content for the Stylist website, magazine and video Under Her Eye franchises.
The initiative comes following a recent study which shockingly revealed that just 22% of film reviewers are female, and just 4.1% of those are women of colour.
The issue, out on Wednesday 8th August, takes a reflective view on the current state of the film industry, showing the lack of women reviewers and emphasis on male achievements in reviews. It also highlights the positive impact that diversifying the film industry can have, through helping others to gain a greater understanding of each other through diversified perspectives.
The initiative comes following Stylist’s ‘Visible Women’ commitment this year, which aims to bring to the forefront women’s ability, power and equality in all areas of life, emphasising the true capabilities of women and place them as equal.
Stylist’s issue will hit the streets on Wednesday 8th August.
Gemma Chan interview highlights:
On the film industry as it currently stands “It’s undeniable that film criticism, despite a few exceptions, remains largely a male-dominated field.”
On the sexism that female directors receive from male critics “Worryingly, research has also shown male critics are more likely to review films featuring a male protagonist than a female one. And, when they review films directed by a woman, they are less likely than female reviewers to mention the director by name, and to offer positive comments about her work.”
On how diversity in the film industry can relate to a wider audience “There are many fantastic male film critics, who are brilliant writers, but as with any industry, more diversity and a range of perspectives means the work speaks to more people and represents a broader viewpoint. And that’s so important.”
On the importance of diversity in the film industry “We are not saying men shouldn’t be allowed to review films by or about women. We just feel that more women (particularly women of colour) should be doing it too. Diversity in our stories, perspectives and culture can only help us gain a better understanding of one another. Which, in these divided times, surely can’t hurt.”
On purposely choosing female-led stories “It is absolutely a conscious decision for me to seek out female-led stories, made by women.”
On the opportunity to represent the female voice and become the next wave of female film reviewers “I’m proud to announce that Stylist is launching its own panel of female film critics, committed to reviewing film through the female gaze. Part of this will involve a competition to find the new generation of female film critics. This is a brilliant opportunity for someone who is passionate about film, and who has ever dreamt of writing about it.”
For more information on the competition, please see below and click here.
The entries will be examined by a panel where 20 entries will be shortlisted. These will then be posted on Stylist website for readers to vote. The most popular 10 entries will be invited to a judging day in London in October. The three winners will have a photoshoot and mentoring day with the Stylist team. Following this, they will become a critic across the Stylist platforms. They can attend screenings and film festivals and then can write paid film reviews in Stylist and Stylist.co.uk. This aims to elevate and highlight the capability of women as film critics.
Photographer’s credit: David Titlow
About Shortlist Media
Shortlist Media is the media platform for the metropolitan audience, with pioneering brands ShortList, Stylist, Emerald Street and Mr Hyde.
Founded in 2007, the company launched the weekly magazine ShortList, which became overnight market leader with an audited distribution in excess of 500,000. Backed by a group of far-sighted investors the business grew rapidly from 22 full-time employees, one weekly print title and year-one revenues of £3.2m to one of the 100 fastest-growing media companies in the UK, employing more than 170 people and operating several brands across multiple platforms and countries.
In 2009, the company launched its women’s title Stylist, with an ABC of 400,000-plus – universally acclaimed as one of the most successful new magazine launches of the decade – and the following year it debuted web partners for both print brands. Shortly afterwards, the company launched into email publishing, first with Emerald Street and then Mr Hyde, both of which have grown into powerful inbox fixtures for urban women and men, with unrivalled daily open rates.
In 2013 the company successfully launched into the French magazine market with Stylist and has since launched both its print titles under licence in the Middle East. Under its new parent company, DC Thomson, the business has shaped itself for further investment and the continued growth of its existing brands as well as the launch of new products and services.
Last year, the company held its large-scale consumer event, Stylist Live, which saw 20,799 attendees, a 41.5% increase from last year, attend Olympia London across three days for inspiring masterclasses, catwalk shows, beauty treatments and exclusive shopping experiences.