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 Summit at MVFF41
Photo © Tommy Lau Photography

Films represent one of our greatest opportunities to impact society. Films break through language barriers and highlight common values and shared experiences. Movies change the way we think and operate in society. Which is why it’s so important for films to reflect the totality of the world. Every race, every age, every religion, every sexual orientation. And every gender. We have a long way to go on all counts, but the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) is focusing on where we can have the greatest immediate impact: Gender.

After decades of supporting the work of women filmmakers, CFI formally launched Mind the Gap in 2015, an initiative dedicated to achieving gender equity in the film industry. At the 2019Festival, 48% of our films across all sections were directed by women. This represents a 13% increase in women-directed films at the festival since our initiative began.

The same year, the California Film Institute (CFI) 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.

The Mill Valley Film Festival and CFI are proud to be at the forefront of promoting women and diversity in all aspects of storytelling through film. We hope you will join us in our efforts.