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August 8, 2018

Stylist launches competition to find new female film critics in bid to address industry’s gender ‘disparity’

By Sam Forsdick

Stylist Magazine has launched a competition to find three new freelance writers for their new Under Her Eye section, dedicated to film reviews written by women.

The free weekly magazine, which is part of Shortlist Media, says it is looking for female film critics in order to address under-representation in the industry.

A 2017 study by USC Annenberg school for communication and journalism at the University of South Carolina found that 77.8 per cent of film critics in America were male while 22.2 per cent were female.

Stylist found a similar situation in the UK with 24 per cent of the membership of the Critics’ Circle film section currently made up of women.

In a column written by British actress Gemma Chan for Stylist, Chan said: “In light of this disparity, and as part of Stylist’s campaign to raise the visibility of women, I’m proud to announce that Stylist is launching its own panel of female film critics, committed to reviewing film through the female gaze.

“Part of this will involve a competition to find the new generation of female film critics. This is a brilliant opportunity for someone who is passionate about film, and who has ever dreamt of writing about it.”

The Humans actress added: “One final and crucial thing to note: we are not saying men shouldn’t be allowed to review films by or about women. We just feel that more women (particularly women of colour) should be doing it too.

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“Diversity in our stories, perspectives and culture can only help us gain a better understanding of one another. Which, in these divided times, surely can’t hurt.”

The Stylist competition is looking to find the next wave of female film reviewers as part of their effort to address the imbalance.

The three winners will receive a freelance contract with the magazine consisting of one 650-750 film review per month at £150 or one 1,000 word article per month at £200.

Winners will also receive a membership plus card for Picturehouse Cinemas and a mentoring day with the Stylist team in London where they will get talks and sessions on how to write film reviews for the magazine.

Entrants must write a film review which will be assessed by a panel of writers including Stylist editors, film critic Kate Muir, Anna Smith, president of the Critics’ Circle, and Gaylene Gould, head of cinemas and events at BFI Southbank.

A shortlist of 20 entrants will then be put forward for a public vote and the three winners will begin working with the magazine in October.

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