Learn about how and why we operate.
Women's Weekend Film Challenge works for gender equity by creating opportunities for women to bring their leadership, talents, and stories to the forefront of the film industry.
Women's Weekend Film Challenge was founded by Katrina Medoff and Tracy Sayre in November 2017. It started with a post on social media when Katrina asked a filmmaking community if anyone wanted to make a film in one weekend with women in every role of production. Nearly 300 women commented within 10 hours, eager to partcipate. Most of them had been working in the industry for years and were tired of being the only woman on set.
After that post, Katrina and Tracy worked around the clock to develop the pilot of Women's Weekend Film challenge. The inaugural challenge was hosted in January 2018 with 160 partcipants. 9 films were made and those films went on to win major awards and screen at over 30 festivals.
Since then, Katrina and Tracy have developed relationships with major brands in film to provide top-of-the-line gear and stipends for festival submissions. The challenge has always been free for participants in order to remore the financial barriers the women face in the film industry.
Why it's necessary
Despite the public demand for equal representation in media, the stats for female directors in major Hollywood films has remained below 10% for years. The stats are even worse for cinematographers, composers, and below the line technical positions like gaffers, mixers and grips.
The chronic underrepresentation of women in Hollywood perpetuates toxic stereotypes in society. As the #Metoo and Times Up movements highlighted, the lack of women in postions of power has led to harmful working environment for female filmmakers.
The film industry is one of the most powerful and lucrative industries in America, and women have been kept out for too long.
Women's Weekend Film Challenge tackles the lack of representation head on by making films with women behind and in front of the camera. We are giving women a platform and a community to promote their voices.
How it works
In the weeks leading up to a challenge, filmmakers can apply to participate via our online application form. It is completely free to apply. We reveiw all applications, looking for filmmakers with talent, passion, and a commitment to our mission.
We are looking for professional filmmakers who want to build their networks so that they can hire and refer more women in the industry.
We consult with a board of accomplished filmmakers to help us narrow down the applicant pool. From the pool. We create several crews from our accepted applicant pool, ensuring that every crew has all the members, equipment, locations and resources to make a film in one weekend.
This is not a paid gig. This is an opportunity to invest in your professional network.
Read more about how the films get made in one weekend >
After the challenge weekend
The Women's Weekend Film Challenge is dedicated to providing crews with the resources to create their films and bring the films to a larger audience.
We host an official screening and networking party for all completed films. This showcase helps filmmakers meet and get hired by even more people! We provide submission stipdends to film festivals for our partipants and coach them on how to submit to festivals so that they can network with a larger audience.
The challenge requires teams to promote their films by creating posters, IMDb pages and a social media presence to raise the profile of all participants.
Our films have been accepted into over 60 festivals.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram for all the updates.