Dr. Stacy Smith (center), USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, receives the Mind the Gap award from Chaz Ebert (left), CEO, Ebert Companies, and Zoe Elton (right), MVFF Programming Director. | Photo © Tommy Lau Photography


CFI Education My Place | My Story student shooting her short film. |  Photo © Tommy Lau Photography


Mind the Gap Directors’ Forum at MVFF45
Photo © Allison Levenson

Films represent one of our greatest opportunities to change narratives, shift mindsets and create deep social impact. Films break through barriers, highlight the commonalities of the human condition and define what we see, know and how we act towards one another. It’s this power to mold minds and affect our actions which underlines why it is essential for films to include and to reflect the totality of the world in its full kaleidoscope of genders, ethnicities, sexualities, classes, castes, ages, bodies and abilities. 

After decades of supporting the work of women filmmakers, CAFILM formally launched Mind the Gap in 2015, an initiative dedicated to achieving gender equity in the film industry. The same year, the California Film Institute began expanding the Mind the Gap initiative across the entire organization in order to provide an inclusive platform to showcase female-forward contributions in all aspects of the film industry, celebrate the dynamic achievements of women in film, and empower future filmmakers. Since its inception, Mind the Gap has embraced the intersectionality of its filmmakers and conversations within the fight for gender equity and the importance of intersectional perspectives and gender’s indisociable connections to other identity traits has become a cornerstone of the platform’s focus.