More than 200 female film makers who were rejected by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have gone viral after they were accidentally copied in on the same email.
The talented women, most hailing from the UK, had applied for BAFTA Elevate, an annual programme that “elevates individuals from under-represented groups to the next stage of their career”.
BAFTA had pledged to focus on “female directors seeking to progress in high end television and features” in 2017, however 225 women were rejected.
— Sarah McCarthy (@Sarahlikesfilms) April 4, 2017
But after being cc’d in on the same email, revealing they had not made the cut, the ladies have joined forces and are taking Twitter by storm with their solidarity, branding themselves the #BaftasLucky225.
Sarah McCarthy, from London, tweeted: “Proud to be in #BAFTAsLucky225 the newest group of #womeninfilm born of @BAFTA cc’ing (instead of bcc’ing) unsuccessful applicants!”
Today I got rejected with 224 fellow women directors, all cc-ed. BAFTA said pls delete. Instead we united. Solidarity rocks. #baftaslucky225
— Carey McKenzie (@Carey_McKenzie) April 4, 2017
Carey McKenzie said: “Today I got rejected with 224 fellow women directors, all cc-ed. BAFTA said pls delete. Instead we united. Solidarity rocks. #baftaslucky225.”
While Lucy Patrick Ward, also from London, told her followers: “A rejection email worth being CCed on! Feels like just the beginning – very pleased to be one of #BaftasLucky225.”
Speaking to Shevolution, filmmaker Eva Sigurdardottir stressed that – aside from the email error – the ‘BAFTA’s Lucky 225’ do not blame BAFTA and hope this will highlight the struggles they face in such a male dominated industry.
— Eva Sigurdardottir (@evammsig) April 4, 2017
Eva tells us: “This is not BAFTA’s fault – and indeed I am hugely grateful that BAFTA even have this program.
“But their faux pas today with the emails just showed a) how many of us there are, b) the quality of the applicants as I recognised so many names, and c) just how motivated the female directors are and keen to help one another.
“I really hope that today can either help highlight the importance of more support for female filmmakers – more programs like BAFTA’s – and also hopefully it will shed some spotlights on some of the 225 women who weren’t chosen but are also keen to work.
“We often hear that there simply aren’t any female directors out there – this disproved that theory!”
Describing its aims for the 2017 Elevate programme, BAFTA posted on its website: “In 2017, BAFTA Elevate will focus on female directors seeking to progress in high end television and features.
“We hope to address the gap between 50/50 per cent male/female film school graduates and 87/13 per cent male/female industry directing hires and producers’ desire to hire female directors but saying that they are often hard to find. The programme will include networking introductions, mentoring and expert workshops.”
Eva said that those affected have received a full apology for the email error and, after following her suggestion, has agreed to hold a drinks evening for all 225 filmmakers.
Shevolution has approached BAFTA for comment.