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21 November 2018

WFTV NI Screen Queens Take Centre Stage at Belfast Media Festival

The WFTV committee team in NI hosted a special panel discussion entitled Screen Queens at last week’s Belfast Media Festival with some of the leading ladies of the creative industries in Northern Ireland. Actress Bronagh Waugh, Casting Director Carla Stronge, WFTV Board Member Anne Morrison, Independent Producer Kelda Crawford McCann and Carson McDowell Partner Olivia O’Kane sharing their opinions on the key issues affecting them with BBC NI’s Marie Louise Muir asking the tough questions.

Jannine Waddell, Chair, WFTV NI Committee introduced the panel to a packed theatre in Belfast’s The MAC theatre saying: “Screen Queens was an idea I had for some time to raise the profile of women working in the creative industries. The panellists will reflect on how far they think the representation of women on our screens has come in recent years, and how far women still have to go in Northern Ireland.”

The session was run under Chatham House Rules which created a healthy engagement by all the panellists.

Northern Ireland’s Screen Queens discussed the high numbers of women who leave film and television after having children, how they themselves coped as working mums in the industry, why men never get asked about child-rearing and what they think could be done better. When it came to the gender pay gap the panel advised women to be prepared to put their case forward and ask for what they are worth. Headline grabbing hashtags, I Believe Her, Me Too, Time’s Up and the abortion referendum result in Ireland raised healthy debate and questions from the audience in the light of Harvey Weinstein revelations and the equally divisive Ulster Rugby Trial and subsequent #Ibelieveher campaigning.

It was an engaging session by Northern Ireland’s WFTV committee which followed recent workshops on publicity and social media; funding and post production since its inception last year with more workshops and events planned in 2019.