During the 2016 Durban International Film Festival, women making film and television (both locally and internationally) came together to address common concerns, share experiences, support and inspire one another. All in attendance supported the importance of working towards ensuring that women are given a voice in the industry, through organised action. Thereafter, SWIFT was born. Our organisation brings together, advocates for, showcases and develops women who are working as well as shaping film and television. We believe that a collective voice will make a lasting impact today and for future female film and television makers in our country.
The organisation has nation wide reach with active members in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban so far. Four internal divisions work together to meet our mandates which focus on the identity of the organisation, advocacy, training and mentoring of women in the industry and the showcasing and shaping of narratives relating to women's issues in film and television. What is fundamental about the organisation is that its membership consists of women with years of experience in the industry as well as those still studying or just starting out- it provides a platform for all to network.
We host a diverse range of monthly meetings every third of the month. In January 2017, we hosted a meeting on advocacy for women in the industry which focused on the challenges women film makers face on set and production crews. We have a survey which will help us get more information on what their experiences have been.
This month we are looking forward to hosting a panel discussion featuring the production team and cast members of the newly acclaimed Mzansi Magic drama, Isithunzi () which portrays strong female characters and deal with complex issues women face in our world today. Venue will be at AFDA, . Invites will be sent out on our social media platforms and database. This event follows our panel discussion with cast and crew from Lockdown (16 February 2017) which was an insightful and memorable evening.
Also, we will be launching our organisation at DIFF 2017 in July. We are excited about that. This year's Durban Film Mart is collaborating with us by making its focus women in film.
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