Female directors shooting to the top of the film industry

Helen Mirren and Jane Campion are among the stars joining an initiative aimed at encouraging women in film

For the film industry, Disney's hit Frozen marked a milestone. Not only was it co-directed by a woman, Jennifer Lee, but it has also become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Yet Hollywood itself is frozen, stuck in a time warp where men still direct more than nine in every 10 movies.

And the picture is no better in the UK, prompting one culture magazine to launch a new initiative to encourage more women to make films. Dazed Vision, the new video arm for Jefferson Hack's Dazed & Confused media operation, is asking some of the industry's biggest names, including Jane Campion and Dame Helen Mirren, to choose their favourite young female directors to make a film – from an arts short to a music video or a piece of fiction – to show on its website.

Campion, best known for The Piano, has picked the first film-maker, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, although in this instance she has selected something the Iranian-born director has already made. Needle, which won a prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival and tells the story of a young girl getting her ears pierced in the midst of her parent's divorce, will open Dazed's Females First project on Friday.

"Needle impressed me with its humour, clarity and unique tone. I felt something I rarely do when watching short films – awed," Campion said.

Polly Stenham Polly Stenham Sienna Miller has picked the playwright Polly Stenham to make something for Dazed, which will give those selected between £2,000 and £5,000 towards their project depending on the scale of their idea. Other industry names keen to get involved include the Turner prizewinner Gillian Wearing, the actress and playwright Sarah Soleman, and the Swedish director Maja Borg. Dame Helen, who is vociferous on the lack of female talent in the industry, is also talking to Dazed.

Jennifer Byrne, Dazed's video commissioning editor, said she was sick of the "male, middle-aged, middle-class, white perspective of the world". She added: "All the films coming to me are from the same angle. We're not anti-men, but we want to encourage more young women to pick up the camera so we have greater diversity in what we're watching. Girls lack confidence to pick up a camera because they think they need to be technical but a director is just someone who has a story to tell and can tell it clearly."

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Dazed's film project is launching in the same week as a festival championing female talent returns to London. Birds Eye View opens on Tuesday with Bloom, a story about two young girls coming of age in post-Soviet Georgia. Nana Ekvtimishvili directs.

Kate Gerova, the festival's creative director, said gestures such as Dazed's gave her hope. "We've lacked enough role models, so what's great is giving newcomers access to really established people. Having networks and support around you is a crucial part of the development of any film-maker."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits