Arts Development Officer joining Women's Leadership Scheme

Alison Strauss, our Arts Development Officer, has been selected as one of eight participants from across the UK for the Independent Cinema Office’s (ICO) inaugural Women’s Leadership scheme, aimed at boosting the number of women working in the film exhibition sector.

Alison, whose role at the Trust includes programming the Hippodrome year-round and directing the annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, was selected from 30 top level applicants to participate in the new scheme… “I saw the opportunity and decided to go for it, even though I thought the chances of being selected were pretty slim.  Being chosen as a participant is really fantastic.  It’s great to have the chance to reflect on my work and to learn from all the mentors and others on the programme who are all respected professionals in the cinema industry.”

Alison was also successful in securing bursaries from the ICO and from BFI Film Audience Network: Film Hub Scotland to cover the costs of fees and attending the sessions.

Mentors comprise Amanda Neville CBE, chief executive of the BFI, Amanda Berry OBE – chief executive of BAFTA, Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas, Liz Leyshon, manager of Strode Theatre, Ginger Corbett, PR specialist, and Dorothy Wilson MBE, chief executive and artistic director of Mac Birmingham.

The eight-month programme, funded through the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund, via BFI National Lottery funding, will involve one-to-one coaching, work shadow placements, monthly skills development workshops and mentoring.

According to the latest Skillset Skills Survey, women occupy just 4% of top cinema jobs.

Catherine Des Forges, director of the ICO, said: “The demand for places on this scheme shows that this is not an isolated situation. The lack of representation of women in top cinema jobs is a huge issue”.

Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the BFI added: “We delude ourselves if we think we can achieve a vibrant film culture and prosperous film industry if only half of the talent, skills and creative flair of human kind is marshalled”. 


Published on Monday, 21st December 2015

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