Men and Equality

Project Proposal

EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network http://www.europrofem.org 

 

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Men and Equality - Project Proposal

 

A short animated film on men and equal gender opportunities

Terry Wragg,
Leeds Animation Workshop
http://www.leedsanimation.demon.co.uk
1998

We would very much appreciate the views of yourselves and your colleagues on the project:

what kind of film do you think we should make?
what would you like to see in such a film?
what do you see as the most important issues around men and equal opportunities?
how is the new equal opportunities culture affecting men and boys?
how does it create problems & opportunities for boys growing up today?
what would be helpful for them?
what does the term "New Man" mean to you?

MEN AND EQUALITY: PROJECT PROPOSAL

The proposal is to produce a short animated film on men and equal gender opportunities. The film will raise awareness around the effects and implications for men and boys of the changes in society resulting from the new opportunities which have begun to open up for women and girls. What related problems have arisen, and how can they be overcome? What are the benefits, and how best to make use of them? The perspective will of course be a positive one: gender equality is necessary for, and of benefit to, men as well as women.

Leeds Animation Workshop has been commissioned by the European Commission's Fourth Action Programme on Equal Opportunities Between Women and Men to carry out research on the impact of equal gender opportunities on the men and boys of Europe, and to produce a script and storyboard which will form the basis for a film on this subject, to be completed early in the year 2000.

The Workshop is a non-profit organisation founded under its present name in 1978 to make animated films on social issues. The current team has worked for many years on various aspects of equal opportunities and employment, and has become increasingly aware of the issues which have arisen for men and boys as a result of changes in the gender balance of society. At the same time, articles and reports have begun to appear intimating that there is a need being felt in many constituencies throughout Europe for discussion of this issue.

The research will examine the masculine experience of an equal opportunities society, from as many viewpoints as possible. This subject area is wide-ranging and complex. There is a need to raise awareness, spread information and knowledge about good practice, and facilitate discussion: at present there is a lack of audiovisual materials to help cater for these needs.

The Workshop is entered into partnerships and beginning to develop other contacts relevant to this work, who will all be consulted about the content of the script and storyboard.

Complete films to date are listed below. Further details are given in our catalogue. Productions also include several shorter pieces such as television titles and programme inserts.

1998 DID I SAY HAIRDRESSING? I MEANT ASTROPHYSICS (14 mins) About equal opportunities in science, engineering and technology. Commissioned by the EC, COPUS, the EPSRC, the EEF,
the IEE, WISE, the Open University, the University of Central Lancashire, Leeds TEC, and others.
1997 A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE (12 minutes) About racial harassment in schools. Funders: National Lottery Charities Board and European Year Against Racism.
1996 WASTE WATCHERS (12 mins) About energy efficiency and conservation measures. Commissioned by the EC's SAVE Programme, the Energy Saving Trust and others.
1996 NO OFFENCE (12 mins) About sexual and other kinds of harassment at work. Commissioned by EC Equal Opportunities Unit, Equal Opportunities Commission, Channel 4, the Leeds TEC, et al.
1995 IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH (10 mins) About the health service.
Commissioned by the National Health Service.
1994 WHO RUNS THE WORLD? (10 mins) About the World Bank.
Commissioned by Christian Aid.
1994 THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING (17 mins) About equal opportunities at work.
Commissioned by the EC's Equal Opportunities Unit, the BBC and others.
1993 ALL STRESSED UP (12 mins) About stress at work.
Commissioned by European Year of Health & Safety at Work, the Health & Safety
Commission, NALGO, and others.
1991 ALICE IN WASTELAND (12 mins) About environmental pollution.
Commissioned by the British Film Institute, Channel Four, and others.
1990 A MATTER OF INTEREST (13 mins) About international debt. Commissioned by Christian Aid & others.
1989 OUT TO LUNCH (12 mins) About sexism in everyday behaviour. Commissioned by Channel Four.
1987 HOME AND DRY? (8 mins) About women and homelessness. Commissioned by the GLC Board and Lodging Information Programme.
1986 CROPS AND ROBBERS (15 mins) About food and hunger. Commissioned by the British Film Institute and others.
1984 COUNCIL MATTERS (10 mins) About local democracy.
Commissioned by Sheffield City Council and others.
1983 GIVE US A SMILE (12 mins) About violence against women. Commissioned by the British Film Institute and Yorkshire Arts Association.
1981 PRETEND YOU'LL SURVIVE (9 mins) About the nuclear threat. Commissioned by Yorkshire Arts Association and others.
1980 RISKY BUSINESS (15 mins) About health and safety at work. ,Commissioned by Yorkshire Arts Assn., the British Safety Council and others.
1978 WHO NEEDS NURSERIES? - WE DO! (8 mins) About daycare provision for under-5's. Commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission and others.

In addition to its production and distribution work, the Workshop has, for example:
• organised international festivals of films by women and racial minority directors;
• provided workshops in basic animation techniques for youth groups, women's groups, etc.

The Workshop has five members, who combine a variety of experience in artistic, educational, administrative, media and cultural work. This team undertakes the research, scripting, storyboarding, design, artwork, animation, rostrum camera work, production, direction, support materials, promotion, distribution and financial management of all the Workshop's films.

These films, researched and scripted in close consultation with organisations and individuals involved in the relevant field, address issues such as sexism, racism, equality and employment, health and safety at work, international aid and trade, homelessness, energy conservation and the environment. They are widely used as educational and training resources. But a Leeds Animation film is not your average training video. Pie-charts, talking heads and ponderous, yawn-inducing dialogue do not feature. They may be issue-based films, but with creative input; and because the films employ humour and surreal narrative and imagery, it is possible for them to address sensitive issues such as sexual or racial harassment impersonally, and stimulate discussion without making audiences embarrassed or defensive. The films are made to broadcast standard and production values are high: recent voice-over artistes have included Maureen Lipman, Alan Bennett and Meera Syal.

 

LEEDS ANIMATION WORKSHOP:
BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Leeds Animation Workshop is a registered company limited by guarantee, a non-profit-distributing registered co-operative, and a union-franchised Film Workshop. The organisation was established under its present name in 1978, and has made 18 short animated films, researched and scripted in consultation with organisations and individuals involved in the relevant field. As an all-women group, it has been particularly successful in making films accessible to the female audience, and, conversely, at times offering an alternative point of view to the general audience. The films achieve extensive distribution, and many have been translated into other languages.

The Workshop has been working on employment and equality issues for over 20 years. Its films have been widely used throughout this period as educational and training resources, in various sectors and in many different parts of the world. Since 1993 it has participated in the European Commission's Action Programmes on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, which has involved numerous transnational contacts with equality initiatives throughout Europe.

An example of our recent productions, ALL STRESSED UP (1993, 12 minutes), about occupational stress, was made for European Year of Health and Safety at Work, with financial assistance from the European Commission, the Health & Safety Executive, NALGO (the National and Local Government Officers' Association), and others. It is widely used, for example by trade unions and commercial companies, health education teams, occupational health officers, and national and local government departments; and has been translated into French and Swedish.

THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING (1994), a film on equal opportunities at work, narrated by Alan Bennett, was commissioned by the European Commission and the BBC. Extracts were broadcast as part of a BBC series in 1994. It is shown at festivals, conferences, seminars, meetings and classrooms, to all kinds of audiences, including the European Metalworkers' Confederation, the Yokohama Women's Association of Japan, youth organisations, training centres, trade unions, hospitals, local authorities, housing associations, universities, colleges, and schools. It has been shown on Channel Four Television, TV networks in Israel, Norway, the Netherlands, and America. A sequel, NO OFFENCE (1996), on harassment at work, was also broadcast on Channel Four and is being distributed to a similar audience.

The Workshop's latest production, DID I SAY HAIRDRESSING? I MEANT ASTROPHYSICS, a film about equal opportunities in science, engineering and technology, was funded by the European Commission's Fourth Action Programme on Equality, COPUS, the EPSRC, the Open University, and others.

Currently in production is WORKING WITH CARE, about employment issues for people with caring responsibilities.

Leeds Animation Workshop is a registered company limited by guarantee, a non-profit-distributing registered co-operative, and a union-franchised Film Workshop. The organisation was established under its present name in 1978, and has made 18 short animated films, researched and scripted in consultation with organisations and individuals involved in the relevant field. As an all-women group, it has been particularly successful in making films accessible to the female audience, and, conversely, at times offering an alternative point of view to the general audience. The films achieve extensive distribution, and many have been translated into other languages.

The Workshop has been working on employment and equality issues for over 20 years. Its films have been widely used throughout this period as educational and training resources, in various sectors and in many different parts of the world. Since 1993 it has participated in the European Commission's Action Programmes on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, which has involved numerous transnational contacts with equality initiatives throughout Europe.

An example of our recent productions, ALL STRESSED UP (1993, 12 minutes), about occupational stress, was made for European Year of Health and Safety at Work, with financial assistance from the European Commission, the Health & Safety Executive, NALGO (the National and Local Government Officers' Association), and others. It is widely used, for example by trade unions and commercial companies, health education teams, occupational health officers, and national and local government departments; and has been translated into French and Swedish.

THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING (1994), a film on equal opportunities at work, narrated by Alan Bennett, was commissioned by the European Commission and the BBC. Extracts were broadcast as part of a BBC series in 1994. It is shown at festivals, conferences, seminars, meetings and classrooms, to all kinds of audiences, including the European Metalworkers' Confederation, the Yokohama Women's Association of Japan, youth organisations, training centres, trade unions, hospitals, local authorities, housing associations, universities, colleges, and schools. It has been shown on Channel Four Television, TV networks in Israel, Norway, the Netherlands, and America. A sequel, NO OFFENCE (1996), on harassment at work, was also broadcast on Channel Four and is being distributed to a similar audience.

The Workshop's latest production, DID I SAY HAIRDRESSING? I MEANT ASTROPHYSICS, a film about equal opportunities in science, engineering and technology, was funded by the European Commission's Fourth Action Programme on Equality, COPUS, the EPSRC, the Open University, and others.

Currently in production is WORKING WITH CARE, about employment issues for people with caring responsibilities.

DISTRIBUTION

As productions of broadcast quality and wide appeal, each of the Animation Workshop's films has the potential for wide dissemination through network television, in the form of a complete short programme, or as a series of short extracts to be inserted in longer documentary programmes. Previous films by Leeds Animation Workshop have been used successfully in both these ways. They have been broadcast in many different countries, and translated into various different languages. With the huge projected increase in community and information cable broadcasting which is forecast in many regions of Europe over the next decade, films of this kind will have many more potential outlets available. The project will also have potential to form the basis for complementary educational multimedia applications.

Leeds Animation Workshop's productions also achieve extensive non-broadcast distribution. They are shown, for example, by schools, colleges, universities, and other education and training institutions; local and national government bodies; private enterprises; professional and trade union organisations; careers services and access courses; film festivals, housing associations, banks and hospitals. Teachers or training officers will use the videos repeatedly, over a number of years, with groups of perhaps twenty students each time. It is significant that we continue to be approached by people wishing to buy our earliest films, made in 1978 and 1980, which have not dated and are still seen to be doing a useful job, for an appreciative audience.

Leeds Animation Workshop has been handling the distribution of its own films for nearly twenty years, in partnership with other distributors, including those who specialise in educational materials for schools and colleges, and those catering to workplace training departments, local authorities and other specialists. Over the years we have produced several videos on different aspects of the theme of equal opportunities and employment, and consequently have many contacts in this field who are always looking out for new audiovisual aids. The Workshop has built up a large database of contacts which is augmented during the research process for each new film. In the last 18 months Workshop members have accepted invitations to present films personally to international audiences in Belgium, Finland, Italy, Spain and the UK; and, through participation in several European programmes, they have personal contact with networks in every country of the Community.

As an example, the recent Workshop production, THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING, (1994) on equal opportunities at work, was commissioned by the European Commission, under the Third Action Programme, and the BBC. It has been shown by film festivals, government agencies, local authorities, housing associations, universities, colleges, training centres, commercial companies, trade unions, hospitals, banks and schools. A sequel, NO OFFENCE, deals with harassment at work and was also produced under the Third Action Programme. These films have been broadcast by Channel Four, and by television networks in Norway and the Netherlands, and have been translated into Danish, Greek and Spanish. They have both been distributed to every high school in the Irish Republic. Other recent films have also been translated into French, German and Swedish.

The launch of each forthcoming video is accompanied by an extensive media campaign, with news releases, articles, reviews and advertisements in a variety of publications, including the educational press, the youth sections of national newspapers and journals, publications aimed at women, appropriate scientific or technical journals, publications intended for the careers service, other trade journals, and the newsletters of relevant organisations. The film will be entered for screening at appropriate film festivals in Britain and around the world, particularly those specialising in educational short films.

Most of the partners in the project will have extensive experience of dissemination of information, and all have targeted audiences and are well placed to disseminate the film within their respective countries. They are distributing leaflets, and will insert articles in their newsletters and journals, and where possible will help to arrange previews, reviews and launch events. Information about the films will be available on the Internet, at the Workshop's website [http://www.leedsanimation.demon.co.uk] and those of the project's partners and others.

 

Call for Partners:

LEEDS ANIMATION WORKSHOP

Leeds Animation Workshop is a not-for-profit women's cooperative, which produces and distributes short, humourous, thought-provoking films on a wide range of social and environmental issues. The Workshop's main area of expertise is equal opportunities; our work includes THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING and NO OFFENCE, which have been distributed all over the world.

PARTNERSHIPS

The Workshop has successfully completed several projects involving national and transnational partnerships. So far we have formed partnerships in the UK, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, and the Netherlands. These partners are not themselves film-makers, but organisations which will be able to use our films for educational or campaigning purposes. They participate in the research and planning of the films, ensuring that they receive resource materials and teaching aids which will be of maximum use to them. The video in turn benefits from their expertise. This consultation process ensures that the film is relevant to and appropriate for many kinds of audiences, throughout Europe.

Specifically, partnership involves:

• the opportunity to contribute to research, and to the written materials which accompany the film;
• making comments on the first draft of the script;
• helping to disseminate the film;
• receiving a credit on the finished film;
• receiving a complimentary video on completion.
There is no financial commitment on either side.

THE PROJECT: MEN AND EQUALITY

The project is to carry out research and produce a 10-15 minute animated film and educational package. The film will be suitable for broadcast but will mainly be seen in an educational, training and awareness-raising context. It will be distributed to schools, colleges, universities, campaigning groups, training centres, etc. Representatives from many relevant organisations are being consulted during the research and scripting process.

For more details contact: Terry Wragg, Leeds Animation Workshop,
45 Bayswater Row, Leeds LS8 5LF, England.
Tel/Fax: +44 113 248 4997.

 


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