The short film Women Seen takes a comedic look at how women are represented in screen-based media both in front of and behind the camera.
While the film, which is directed by Amanda Tapping, takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the subject, it contains the serious message of how women are underrepresented in creative, technical, writing and directorial roles in the industry.
It also examines how women are portrayed on film, examining topics such as over-sexualizing women.
“I’m thrilled to be part of such a ground-breaking film at such an important time in our struggle for more balanced gender opportunities not just in the film and television industry, but in many sectors,” said Tapping in a press release.
Women Seen, an ACTRA National Women’s Committee movie, is expected to be released next year.
Nanaimo-born actress Jodelle Ferland, who starred as Bree Tanner in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and currently stars as Five in the sci-fi TV series Dark Matter, was involved in the project.
“The comedic approach makes the film easier for people to understand the message,” said Ferland. “It’s more likely to get talked about if it is more likely to go viral.”
Ferland said there have been a shift in the types of roles for women.
“I think we can all agree women are always represented, well, very often, over-sexualized or made to fit a certain stereotype,” said Ferland.
The character of Five is a smart, capable young woman who possesses superb tech skills, often allowing her to help the crew of the Raza, a faster-than-light armoured space transport, out of tight situations.
“It’s been one of my favourite roles I have ever done. She is quirky, which I can relate to,” said Ferland. “I’m a big sci-fi fan. I just love going to work on a spaceship every day. It makes me happy.”
Ferland said Five is a strong female character and at a convention a 12-year-old girl told her that she looks up to that female character.
“That was so moving,” said Ferland, who added the show has a number of strong female leads.
Ferland began acting at a young age. She started working in commercials when she was two. When she was five, the family moved to Vancouver, which made it easier for her to travel for roles.
Her first big role was for the TV movie Mermaid, for which she won the Daytime Emmy Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a television movie and a nomination for Outstanding Performer. Since that time she has starred in numerous television and film roles.
When she was a teenager trying out for roles, they were often given to women in their early 20s. Now Ferland said she’s the one who is getting cast in the teenager roles.
Her most recent project is Big Fat Liar 2.
“It’s a really fun movie for all ages. I loved the movie when I was younger,” said Ferland.