Rachel Millward is the Creative Director and founder of Birds Eye View - a film festival that celebrates women, motivated by the statistic that only 7% of filmmakers are women. She has since led the organization to become the high profile national arts charity it is today.|
Describe yourself in 5 words
Ambitious. Idealistic. Passionate. Happy. Tall.
How do you shake up female cliches in your daily life (job, family, lifestyle)?
Well, I'm the one with the vinyl collection and the biggest camera lens… I'm the CEO and Creative Director of Birds Eye View. Yet I work a 25 hour week, balancing career and childcare.
I think that until we shake up our ideas of leadership, and learn to be genuinely flexible, it will be difficult to make much progress in changing statistics around women leaders. It shouldn't have to be a choice between children & work - that way we are losing years of investment in seriously talented women as they choose to be involved in their children's lives. And honestly, I think being a Mum has already made me a better leader.
What are you especially proud of?
Birds Eye View. I set it up in 2002 as a one-off short film event, and poured all my energy into it, and watched it grow, and now it's a major international film festival celebrating talented women from all over the globe.
Last year I gave birth to my first baby girl, at home, on Opening Night, and felt like I'd won all the marathons in the world, at once. Eight days later I took her along to the Closing Night Gala - both my babies in one night! You couldn't begin to get that smile off my face.
How do you imagine male and female relations in 20 years?
Hmm. Can this be what I hope for, rather than what I imagine? I long for an era in which men and women are allowed equal choice in their lives. When men can enjoy nurturing time with their children as much as women. When both sexes can integrate work into their lives in a healthy, balanced way.
When girls and boys can both play with toys, trucks, dolls of all colors, whatever they choose. When we see women of all ages on screen, and enjoy fully formed, complex female characters in film. When a nearly all male cast is a rarity rather than the norm, and it’s no longer a story when a woman wins a directing Oscar.
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