The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and major film industry leaders have teamed up to tackle the lack of diversity in the film industry.
Sony Pictures, HBO, STUDIOCANAL and Film4 are among the list of industry leading organisations that have joined the Mayor in pledging their support for Film London’s Equal Access Network, which aims to ensure the capital’s screen industries represent the city’s diversity.
Today the Mayor has also announced a £50,000 boost for the work of the Equal Access Network, to help more Londoners from under-represented backgrounds secure paid opportunities working in film and TV, and to encourage employers to take new approaches to recruiting a more diverse workforce.
Ahead of the annual Mayor’s Gala at the BFI London Film Festival this Saturday [20 October], Sadiq has committed new funding to enable Film London to grow the reach of the Equal Access Network. The ground-breaking Equal Access Network, launched in January, works to support talented individuals from underrepresented groups into paid roles in the industry and works with employers to improve their recruitment practices.
Figures from a report for the BFI demonstrate that just 3% of production personnel working in the UK film and screen industries are from minority ethnic backgrounds, whilst 20% are women and 5% identify as disabled. In a move to tackle the industry's startling lack of diversity, as well as the rising demand for skills, the Equal Access Network offers career support and bespoke advice to new starter, mid-level and returning employees. Today’s investment by the Mayor of London will enable the Equal Access Network to scale up its work, expanding on its success by recruiting more training providers and employers across London and helping to grow the network’s pool to 300 members, getting 180 people into paid work over the next year. The funding will also support an extensive programme of masterclasses, workshops, CV surgeries and mentoring schemes, ensuring that high quality training and skills opportunities go to people from under-represented backgrounds.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “From the actors and presenters we see on screen, to the directors, producers and script writers behind the scenes, it is vital that our film industry reflects our city. Londoners from all backgrounds should be able to see themselves and their stories on screen. By supporting the Film London Equal Access Network, we can encourage employers to improve recruitment processes and ensure all Londoners have access to the career opportunities the growing film industry provides. I’m delighted that someof the major film and TV companies are backing this initiative and I’d encourage others to follow suit.”
Backing the initiative, a host of major industry heavy-hitters have committed to supporting
the Equal Access Network. Partners include:
– Sony Pictures Entertainment
– Working Title Films
– The Ink Factory
– Two Brothers Pictures
– Anton Corp
– Objective Media Group
– Altitude Film Entertainment
– Bankside Films
– Rocket Science
– Michelle Kass Associates