Tessa Ross, Amanda Nevill have already spoken at industry forum Female Film Leaders.

Gurinder Chadha

Director Gurinder Chadha and BFI head of international Isabel Davis are the latest industry to sign up for film industry forum Female Film Leaders.

The free to attend UK initiative, devised as a practical response to gender imbalance in the industry, sees senior figures working in the film industry talk openly about their careers to a small group of female junior industry executives.

Former Film4 boss Tessa Ross and BFI CEO Amanda Nevill have already taken part in the series this year.

Speakers in 2016 included Julie Baines from Dan Films, Alison Owen from Monumental Pictures, Hilary Davis from Bankside Films, Nicole Mackey from HanWay Films and Katie Goodson-Thomas from Fox Searchlight.

The forum is the brainchild of Emma Dutton, partner at UK production outfit Sharp House, Yana Georgieva, international sales manager at Bankside Films, and Emma Yap, junior acquisitions executive at NBC Universal.

The initiative is sponsored by Sharp House, sales outfit Bankside Films, financier Head Gear Films and law firm Lee and Thompson.

Sessions take place every few months at the Lee and Thompson offices.

Discussing the impetus for the initiative, the founders commented: “Female Film Leaders helps up-and-coming female film executives to access the inspiration and advice they need to compete successfully at the highest echelons of the film industry. We keep our audiences small to make sure that everyone gets the most out of each session.”