Pass the Bechdel Test is a campaign initiated by Sarah Steel.
Sarah: I am a filmmaker with a working background in film distribution, international sales and film festivals who realized, after making my first two short films, that even as a female director I was failing to pass the Bechdel Test. It dawned on me how easy it is to fall into the trap of only telling men's stories, and that changing this will take consideration early on in the filmmaking process for all writers, directors and producers.
My third short, Now You See Her, looks at the invisibility of older women in society.
Documentary filmmaker and activist Tessa Rex joined the campaign in May 2014.
Tessa: I'm a documentary filmmaker, photographer and radio-lover driven by social justice and observation. From 2008-2010 I co-produced The Third Degree, an environment and social justice radio show which received the 2010 UTS Human Rights Award in Creative Media. In 2012 I co-directed and organised The Cardshow, an art exhibition raising money for the Muckaty anti-nuclear waste dump campaign. Recently I made a short documentary about the arab spring in Bahrain.
You may have seen Tessa speak on behalf of Pass the Bechdel Test at the Sydney Film Festival's Women in Film panel on Saturday 7 June 2014 at Sydney Town Hall.
Comedian and filmmaker Madeleine Culp joined the campaign in May 2014.
Madeleine: I have worked as comic for five years in Australia, the UK and America. During that time I've won an award (Best Newcomer, Sydney Comedy Festival 2010), been published (Penguin Books 'Funny Buggers'), presented on Australian national radio (Triple J), appeared on television ('The Urban Monkey, JTV), and performed on various dingy pub stages.
I love film and great storytelling which is why I believe this campaign is so important – there is entertainment value in all human stories, male and female. Hearing a female driven story, comedy or drama shouldn't be the anomaly because we live in a world with men and women. Besides, how much more interesting is a story with fully dimensional male and female characters than one whose only female character's purpose is to roll her eyes at the antics of her boyfriend?
This campaign has no association with Alison Bechdel, so please don't contact her about it – she's already done her bit.