Another Keynote Speech

Lynne Parker

Lynne Parker

Last year at the Funny Women Awards final I spoke about the need for diversity, inclusion, accessibility and safety in our industry and taking responsibility on behalf of our community. One year on and I used my speech at this year’s final to reflect upon how things have changed since I created Funny Women, exactly 20 years ago this month. This is what I said.

2022 is officially Funny Women’s 20th year and we’re only just getting the party started!

A bit of history for you. The very first event was held in October 2002 and I went on to launch these awards in 2003. I honestly never thought that what started out as a public relations campaign in response to a male promoter telling me that women aren’t funny, would turn into something that’s taken over 20 years of my life, so far.

We’ve taken on board the challenges of the last few years and found new ways to develop and support new comedy talent. Humour and fun are vital for our mutual wellbeing whether we use them to perform, create or entertain ourselves.

The resilience of the Funny Women brand is amazing and, even in this increasingly diverse and inclusive world, the support we get from across our community regardless of gender, culture, ability, sexuality, ethnicity, and age staggers me. It’s why I keep on going but I don’t do this alone.

I want to pay tribute to the incredible team of producers, writers, web developers, creatives and administrators who work behind the scenes to keep the Funny Women ‘shop window’ looking pukka. And, I give huge thanks to our sponsor, Sky Studios who’ve supported us throughout the pandemic and helped us bring this show fully back to life on this stage tonight.

We are also live streaming this show thanks to our partners, NextUp Comedy who’ve done so much to support us and help create a live online presence which is now a key element of how we run the Awards.

The first year I ran the Awards I did it with the help of some sponsorship from Babycham and employed an experienced comedy producer to manage the entries. We built a basic website and thought we were very cutting edge by having a dedicated mobile phone for the entrants to register! In that first year nearly 70 women competed for one award and now we attract around 1,500 entrants and nominees across five different awards.

How things have changed. Gone are the cascades of printed flyers and posters, now everything you need is on your phone – from our website to entry forms and even the programme for this event.

Comedy is delivered virtually as well as live and we are doing our very best to make the most of today’s hybrid environment to showcase brilliant and talented new performers, writers and creators from all over the world. 

We are embracing this broader global environment with the help and support of our Associate producers in the USA, Australia, Europe and Ireland who encourage entries for these awards and run regional events.

This year we have attracted entries from Romania, UAE, Luxembourg, Estonia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Italy, Iceland, France, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Australia, USA, Ireland, Netherlands and the UK.

20 years ago, this was a much smaller world – no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or TikTok! You had to ‘dial up’ to send an email and, everything was done on the phone!

Although I’m sometimes nostalgic for the simplicity of the past – social media has enabled the expansion and inclusivity of comedy development and I’m proud that we’re now showcasing some brilliant content creators alongside stage performers, script writers and short film makers.

Some of them perform stand up, write articles and books, or are already influencers in their own right – such is the limitless potential of the social media beast.

Let’s keep a sense of perspective and remember that ultimately there’s nothing quite like the opportunity to perform and entertain people live in the room as we’re experiencing here tonight.  With your support we will continue to feed the broader talent pipeline.

Thank you for spending time with us tonight and enjoy the rest of the show.

If you missed the 2022 Funny Women Awards final at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London on Thursday 29th September, the event was filmed by our friends at NextUp Comedy and you can sign up to watch it here

Picture by Steve Ullathorne.

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Comedy Shorts Award Entry Requirements

The deadline for registration for the Comedy Shorts Award has passed.

Funny Women NextUp…Comedy Shorts Award

Are you a budding Director? Producer? Screenwriter? Are you collaborating with friends to make a funny video? Then we are looking for YOU!

If you have a short film or sketch that you think is hilarious, then enter your work for our Comedy Shorts Award to be in with a chance of winning some life-changing support and mentoring from comedy professionals.

WHAT KIND OF FILM ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

A 1- 6 minute film that can take the form of anything comical. It’s a great opportunity to show us your creative flair and have fun!

WHO CAN ENTER?

This award is open to all women filmmakers and content developers. The film must be an original narrative created, produced and devised by a woman, or women, although male cast and crew members are allowed.

ARE THERE ANY ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR MY FILM?

Yes – we require all films to be 6 minutes or under, to be entirely original dialogue, to not feature brand logos and most importantly, to only use music with the written consent of the performer and/or publisher either personally or via the PRS system https://www.prsformusic.com/ .

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH MY FILM?

We will broadcast selected entries on our Funny Women YouTube channel and social media (so keep an eye out) and the top 10 finalists’ films will also hosted on a dedicated Funny Women Comedy Shorts Awards page on our website. We will also broadcast the final 3 entries as part of the grand final night.

HOW IS IT JUDGED?

Films are judged for production, concept, delivery/performance, creativity, writing and overall funniness. The top 10 films are then viewed by an independent judging panel of top television and film industry professionals who will choose one overall winner and two runners up. The final three will be invited to attend the grand final in London on the 23rd September.

WHAT CAN I WIN?

2021 Funny Women Awards Prizes

The deadline for registration for the Comedy Shorts Award has passed.

If you need further information please contact us here