Who gets to tell their story

One World Media Director, Gemma Bradshaw, reflects on why diverse storytelling is so important. Join us this International Women’s Day for a Fellowship Showcase followed by a live Q&A with the filmmakers. Register to watch the films here


We all have a favourite director, but if we only watched their films our worldview might be a little skewed.

The person behind the lens – or radio mic, or keyboard for that matter – is as crucial as who is in front of it. Yet we’re still battling for representation in the media industry.

When you look at the top grossing films, women comprised only 24% of directors, writers, producers, editors and cinematographers. The representation across journalism and documentary is less widely reported but is also unbalanced.

There are so many stories that need to be heard and can be told from so many different perspectives. It takes a diversity of filmmakers, journalists, editors and commissioners to make that  happen.

At One World Media, we’ve committed to have at least 50% women represented on all our programmes. 

Our Fellowship has surpassed this target now for several years, giving each participant the chance to focus on their own media project, with the guidance and connections for the next step in their career.

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating with films from four of our Fellowship alumni.

The stories are as diverse as the women who  made them. 

From filmmaker Maral Shafafy, we see an Iranian woman seeking justice for her husband’s execution. Shari Petti takes us behind the scenes of traditional mas makers during Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago. 

In Malaysia, video journalist Rahmah Pauzi shows us the perseverance of teachers through the pandemic. And from Egypt, Hanan Youssef brings to light the story of a woman fighting against  Egyptian family law to return her son who was abducted by his father.

What they share is a chance to see people up close, bringing new perspectives on stories that we rarely see in the headlines.

If we want a more democratic documentary industry, it starts with telling and watching stories by more than just our favourite filmmaker.


The One World Media Fellowship is open to all emerging journalists and filmmakers. The deadline is 22 March.