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Participants

Anna Ciennik, industry village manager in Les Arcs European Film Festival, co-president of Le Deuxième Regard.

Clotilde Courau, actress.

Coralie Fargeat, director.

Alexandra Faussier, press officer, Les Piquantes.

Fanny Garancher, press officer, Les Piquantes.

Marie Garel-Weiss, director.

Juliette Grimont, cinema operator and distributor.

Nathalie Marchak, director.

Franck Saint Cast, producer et director.

Ana Urushadze, director.

Hosts

Fabienne Silvestre-Bertoncini, co-founder of Les Arcs Film Festival, responsible of Le Lab « Femmes de Cinéma ».

Geoffroy Grison, scriptwriter, co-president of Le Deuxième Regard.

 

Observers

Flore Brabant, assistant, Le Lab « Femmes de cinéma »

Guillaume Calop, co-founder and general manager of Les Arcs European Film Festival.

Photo © Pidz

Across the testimonies

Weinstein case. This case led to an awakening but it is necessary that every single charge of sexual harassment has hard proof.

In many countries, the Weinstein case generated an awakening on behaviors that women sometimes suffer. It also generated freeing speech. For example, in Sweden, 547 actresses mobilized following this event. But in France there is the feeling that the case did not trigger anything. It seems that women keep feeling judged and weakened if they talk.

A socialization to seduction. Girls are very soon socialized with the idea that seduction is an advantage in the professional field that can be used to reach its goals.

Female director films’ genre. There is the feeling that women rather direct “auteur cinema”. We must also give legitimacy to women directing genre film or those who wish to begin “commercial” cinema.

Competition. Female filmmakers and particularly actresses have always been put in a competition. They now must be united. It is a major re-learning if we want to improve the place of women in the cinema field. Each woman succeeding should showcase a feminine emerging talent with her.

Exploitation of film. There still are not enough female cinema operators. But it is above all a question of age. Cinema operators are first and foremost old men. And this influences programmes. Men care less about the proportion of men and women among the directors of the films they program, while women are more sensitive on this topic.

Gender stereotypes. There is a “molding” of the female characters which are proposed in the films. For example, it is very difficult to find lazy female characters in cinema, all the lazy characters are men. Thus, actors cannot and must not content themselves with what they are offered. They have to reflect deeply and take inspiration from other characters so that they will not only interpret clichés characters.

How can we communicate on the feminization of some positions in the cinema field? For example, we notice that there are more and more female scriptwriters. Participants of the workshop testimony that in one of their artist residency, there is parity among the tenants, while there was no specific policy of positive discrimination. Question is: must we communicate on this feminization or no?

A feminine and feminist revolution. A revolution driven by women is happening today. The question is: how can we participate to this revolution? Actresses must be conscious of their political power because they are the most showcased women in the cinema field. On their side, female filmmakers must be activist and they must keep directing films, considering those issues. More projects presented to distributors must take into account the feminine topics (ex: motherhood).

Nugget quotes

« We, French people, in our history we made revolution. Today, what is happening, is our revolution [women’s one]. We must win back liberty, our liberties, equality, our equality, and brotherhood, our “sisterhood”. Without cutting off any heads. »

« This is our revolution. It is not led by men anymore but women. »

«In femininity, we are our own enemies. We, actresses, have always been put in competition against each other. »

« In one of my movies, the main character is a woman and she is going to provinces. How many times was I asked why her husband was staying in Paris and was not saving his wife? But today, women do not need to be saved by men anymore! »

« I can’t stand it anymore that women are always suspected of being chosen because of quota, while men are never concerned about it. »

« What is gendered in interpretation? There is no difference of nature between male and female interpretation. »

« If there is no specific attention, it will never work because society is unbalanced. »

« Cinema is challenging. The female producers, people of power, they are the ones that can change things. »

The idea box

  • Positive discrimination is about stimulating a network. Women who reach positions of power should activate solidarity, in other words make other women emerge when they access such a level of power (in production firms for example).
  • Institute anonymity of filmmakers in the first college of the commissions of advance on receipt.
  • A policy of quota, with a limitation in time (ex: 5 years), decreed by the government in official institutions (ex : DRAC, CNC – French Film institute) and in commissions.
  • Require systematically male/female duos. Not lean too far in the opposite direction and only showcase feminine projects.
  • Require parity in decision-making authorities, commissions, selection committees.
  • More transparency regarding readers. People who write reading papers on films have a decisive importance because it is on those forms that are principally made program selection of the television channels. Thus, we should have a marked trail about the realization of those papers to know who read it, which version, for which institution.
  • Mixed interpretation prizes. Actors and actresses are the only one to be judged regarding their gender. A mixed interpretation prize should be established, with female candidates as much as male candidates. However, question is: if we remove this potential prize to women, isn’t it going to produce an opposite effect and prevent girls of being rewarded?
Photo © Pidz

For your consideration: confidentiality and publication rules of the Lab:

We use the Chatham House rule, from the famous British think tank. This rule is used in order to regulate the confidentiality of the information exchanged during a meeting. The principle is the following: when there is a meeting under the Chatham House rule, the participants are free to use the information they collected on this occasion, but they’re not allowed to reveal the identities or affiliation of the source of that information. This allows a greater freedom of speech and stronger stances. The list of the participants to the workshops is nonetheless public, in order to highlight the diversity and the quality of the attendees, and to give value to the ideas produced.