This year I had an awakening. 10 years after attending my first film festival, I noticed that the room at this particular film festival was incredibly white. So white, the Oscars of five years ago looked incredibly diverse. I was that rare breed that thought the Oscars were unfairly attacked a few years ago with the #oscarsowhite hashtag. In my opinion then and now, they give awards to films drawn from the pool of films actually made and distributed. A lot of questions needed to be asked about who made the decisions as to what films get made and who makes them. If that pool is diverse, it follows that awards ceremonies will have a diverse pool to draw from. Enter film festivals. That place where ideas from new and emerging filmmakers are pitched, packaged and financed formally or informally. Film festivals are great especially for filmmakers without a film business network. It is where you get to meet and build relationships with executives who may become your champions. When I look back over the past ten years from Cannes to CPH:Dox, nothing has really changed. But has anyone ever really noticed that neither the ideas shortlisted for pitching forums and presented to the film industry outside (‘African or Asian’ strands ) as films and filmmakers worth backing are particularly diverse nor are the decision makes who decide which films get the prize or the backing. You can almost guess which ideas they warm to and which they won’t before the jury gives their feedback. When will we ask the same question of festivals where films start their journey and we can really make a difference as to who gets supported that we ask when the films are done and getting nominations for awards?