The film industry struggles with diversity, Long Beach State’s Women in Film club is empowering student filmmakers to break into the industry.
The club welcomes women and filmmakers alike with diverse identities to learn about and connect on their love of film.
“Our main goal is to empower aspiring filmmakers on campus,” said Julia Nava, president of Women in Film.
She hopes that the club can help aspiring filmmakers diversify the film industry in the future.
“We want to promote marginalized voices and people of all different backgrounds and identities and help them get into the film industry so that it becomes more diversified,” said Nava.
According to Nava, the club has around 40 consistent members. They host weekly meetings that host a variety of activities such as workshops and open group discussions on film topics.
Mia Molina, financial manager for Women in Film, hosted a discussion on queer representation in holiday films.
“I think a lot of people really enjoyed that discussion just because it was something that you don’t really think about most of the time,” Molina said. “So I got people coming in who are like, wow, like that was a really good topic to discuss.”
She hopes that the club creates a safe and creative environment for members to connect with each other.
“I really want to make a community with our club members to be able to have those connections,” said Molina. “So when we progress in the future, we’re working with people that we enjoy working with, and we’re working with people who we can relate to.”
Women in Film is open to all majors, not just film, so non-film majors get the opportunity to learn industry skills.
The most recent workshop focused on lighting and grip equipment so non-film students could learn those skills.
“We collaborated with the film department and one of the professors took time out of his schedule to teach our members those practical industry skills,” Nava said.
Caroline Smith, the membership coordinator for Women in Film, has been a member since 2020 and was inspired to pursue film because of the club.
“I am a creative writing major but now I’m a film minor and it’s been because of women in film that I realized this isn’t like an unattainable career path,” said Smith.
The film industry has always had diverse groups involved but they were not recognized, Smith explains.
“It’s assumed film is specifically straight white cis male-dominated sphere which is just wrong historically because way early on women and people of color have always been involved in film,” said Smith. “It has never been specifically just the straight white man.”
Many people are fighting for diversity in the film industry, Smith believes that there should be a demand for representation on and behind the camera.
“It’s just like a matter of changing your way of thinking for that and understanding that there is room to be represented and we should be able to demand that from what we see in front of and behind the camera,” Smith said.
Women in Film allows a safe space and opportunities to CSULB’s students today to bring diverse and talented filmmakers for tomorrow.