AACTA’s red carpet stormed by sixteen disobedient sausages
8th December 2016
Words by Laura La Rosa
Cover image by WIFT
Sixteen members from WIFT NSW mischievously stormed the AACTA’s red carpet last night in a sizzling feat they described as nothing short of a giant ‘Sausage Party’. Dressed in handmade sausage costumes, the group’s protest calls upon Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) to make one of the biggest film nights of the year, a genuinely diverse one.
The protest follows a lack of response from AACTA - despite multiple attempts to discuss - as to why a mere two out of the twenty-eight pre-selections from the feature film category had female directors, and further, why only three out of the twenty-eight had female protagonists. Additionally, there is yet to be any explanation from AACTA as to why around one quarter of the pre-selected films (side note – these all had male directors) didn’t even meet the entry criteria but were selected nonetheless.
The organised ‘sausage party’, which was met with aggressive security guards and a mix of both bewildered and delighted patrons, also raised the issue of institutionalised bias that withholds avenues for non-male identifying people within the film and television industry. That said, the media soaked up the demonstration within minutes, with many amused reporters publishing the cause’s details almost immediately, shedding light on the jovial aspects of the snag clan’s civil disobedience.
WIFT President Sophie Mathisen, a driving participant and co-spokesperson for the demonstration, points out that “women are making more content than ever before and this year’s nominations, in not only feature films but also television categories, are not at all reflective of this fact - a deeply disappointing and shameful situation for a body that proclaims to celebrate the width and breadth of screen excellence”.
So what now?
WIFT are calling on immediate action from AACTA to enable more transparency for the selection process, provide an explanation for the nominees that didn’t meet the criteria but were selected anyway, and unambiguously commit to introducing a minimum of 50/50 gender quotas across selection panels.
Details of WIFT’s charter for gender equality at the AACTA awards can be found here.
“It’s certainly not how most of us imagined we would look at our first AACTAs but it seemed appropriate attire for Australia’s biggest Sausage”, Mathisen explains.
Find out more about the #AACTASausageParty and/or download the press release, media kit and charter for gender equality here.