Home » FIERCE Factor: The ‘F’s given rating system

FIERCE Factor: The ‘F’s given rating system

“I think it’s a really great idea, and, like the Bechtel test, it just sheds light on the overwhelming under-representation of female-driven stories out there. ” – Sue Maslin, Producer The Dressmaker


We rate content based on how many ‘F’s (women in key roles) were a part of the project.

  1. Director
  2. Producer
  3. Writer (for screen or stage)
  4. Lead Actor
  5. Key Support Actor
  6. FIERCE look – women in key credited roles including, but not limited, to cinematographers and editors
  7. FIERCE feel – women in key credited roles including but not limited to music/composer, production design, costume design
  8. FIERCE Story -showing female experience or perspective (e.g. true story, based on a book by a woman)

Like when you pick up a pack of biccies at the supermarket and the kangaroo and chart on the box give a  quick guide of the percentage of Australian ingredients, our FIERCE Factor measures female input.  The more women involved, the more ‘F’s we give.

An amazing TV series can earn a 5 star or equivalent review (from female Australian reviewers) for being simply brilliant- we don’t begrudge that, we embrace it.

If the only female involvement is the cool female support character it is classed as a “1 ‘F’ given, 5 star” review. Add in a female producer and BOOM you’re up to 2 ‘F’s given. WOW, it looks fantastic, production design or costumes by a woman? You’re up to 3 ‘F’s already. This is simply about transparency, The FIERCE is about celebrating and getting you excited about content, not tearing it down because of who has made it.


Wait, aren’t FIERCE story and Writer the same?

We don’t’ think so, here are a couple of examples why: ‘Big Little Lies’ is a FIERCE Story based on the book by Australian woman Liane Moriarty, David E. Kelly is the ‘Creator’ writer transforming those words from the page to TV script. Movie ‘I, Tonya’ is based on the real lived experiences of Tonya Harding, it’s a FIERCE Story as the we know (to an extent from news footage etc) many of the actions and words of Tonya the character have been directly drawn from the real athlete’s life, so we give a ‘F’ for that. The film was written by Steven Rogers, so it doesn’t get a ‘F’ for writer.

What if the individual you’re looking to give a ‘F’ for is transgender or agender? 

We give ‘F’s based on how a person identifies at the time a work was created. The FIERCE has been established to celebrate female-driven and generated content so for now our ‘F’s are only given to those who identify as female. However, we recognise the sensational and fantastically fierce work being done by LGBTIQ people within the entertainment industry and are considering adding further categories down the track.   If it’s something you’re keen to see in this rating system let us know!


“I love the fact that you’ve got eight levels, and so there’s a number of ways that you can ask audiences to think about what they’re looking at, what the story’s about and who’s been telling that story.” – Sue Maslin, Producer The Dressmaker