Lifetime has always been known as a network devoted to focusing on females and providing quality entertainment and programming. In fact, the network has always been a proponent of women in the business, and have long worked towards not only being supportive of women in the industry, but they have also worked towards hiring women for creative roles. Now, Lifetime is looking to introduce an expanded initiative for women to have greater roles behind the scenes.
This new initiative or movement is called Broad Focus, and will work towards advocating for women to have opportunities to work with the network. The work will include developing, writing, producing and directing content that will be used on Lifetime.
Broad Focus will help to not only identify, but also help develop the entertainment industry’s most gifted creative talent that would be considered up-and-coming. There will be a specific focus on development of content that is truly dedicated to a woman’s experiences. The mission of Broad Focus is to both encourage and refine the talent of women in media. It will also scout for female leaders who are already creating some of the best female-centric stories for the small screen. The initiative from Lifetime, will also advocate for and introduce the idea of awareness for the need for women to be behind the scenes, as well as in roles that are influential to the process of making content for a vast landscape of the media.
The CEO and President of the A+E Networks, Nancy Dubuc, said that there is an ample number of talented females who have remained untapped. She also said that they want to be the first people to work with that source of available creativity. Dubuc said that she finds it “hard to believe as an industry we still struggle to fully recognize women’s talents in behind-the-camera roles, especially as directors.” Dubuc feels that the goal of Broad Focus is to help the company look in locations that are not traditional, and to basically look even deeper to find female storytellers.
In 2014, only seven percent of feature length films had women directors. Lifetime’s own movie directors were 20 percent female during the same period. In 2014, Lifetime had 43 percent female writers, 35 percent female executive producers, as well as 29 percent female producers. In comparison, the average for industry during the same period was 11 percent female writers, 19 percent female executive producers and 23 percent female producers.
One of the first projects of Broad Focus was a partnership between Lifetime and the first ever Film Festival in Bentonville from Geena Davis. The festival ran until May 9 and was a festival to champion diversity and women. At some point later in 2015, Broad Focus will get a showcase via on-air sponsored content in short-form regarding female filmmakers. There will also be short films that are directed by women in a partnership with select marketers.
Lifetime’s introduction of an initiative to get more women in behind the scenes roles, is just another step towards a more inclusive media environment. The network already has a female focus and the efforts of Broad Focus coincide with the current trend of women working in behind the scenes positions.
By Kimberley Spinney
Lifetime Press Release
Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr
Network Logo Courtesy of Lifetime Network