Actions directed at the potential audience or at film industry professionals and aiming to promote the identity and the work of female film directors and to aware about the obstaces they face
- Internet sites
There are internet sites that aim to increase the public visibility of the name and work of female directors. In the first instance is the European Women’s Audiovisual Network which has the objective of promoting gender equality among professionals in the audiovisual industry and to create important professional communities within this industry.
The site “Nordic Women in Films”, created by the Swedish Film Institute in 2016 aims to increase the visibility of female professionals in the film industry. The SFI engages itself to ensure a constant updating of the information collated on the site.
In Austria there is the site “Gender in Equality” which collects and edits information, making available statistics about the funding requested and attributed to female film directors (according to gender, therefore), an annual report on films directed by women, produced and released in cinemas, a link to numerous national or international studies published on the subject, as well as a page dedicated to the films of emerging female directors.
There are several web sites that deal specifically with the issue but aren’t attached to film institutes. This is the case with the Spanish site CIMA, an association of female film directors, which publishes almost on a daily basis information about the subject. The Bulgarian site “Women Film Directors in the Bulgarian Cinema”, created by the director Adela Peeva is also active. In Belgium is the site “Elles Tournent” (“They’re Filming”) which promotes the work of women in the art world, with an emphasis on the audiovisual sector.
In Croatia the policy of awareness building is illustrated by the publication of two pamphlets called “Cinderellas, Queens and Godmothers” that focus on the wealth of female talent in the film industry (directors, producers, etc.)
- Awareness building activities during festivals
There are numerous awareness building activities undertaken during festivals.
In Austria, the writing competition “If she can see it, she can be it” was established in 2017, focusing on strong female characters.
A Danish festival tries to invert the roles in some scenes (men taking women’s roles, and vice versa) in order to highlight the stereotypes that women are confronted with in scripts. This measure is joined with a focus on the experience of the audience in the cinema and audience reaction to these changes.
- Awareness building among film industry professionals
As far as awareness building among industry professionals is concerned, we have noted several different kinds of action.
In Denmark an awareness building policy will be implemented next year focusing on the members of committees that award funds. The policy will include workshops which aim to make people aware of gender inequality. In parallel a report will be published aimed at screenwriters to give advice on how to combat gender stereotypes in the development of characters in scripts. There is a similar measure in Switzerland where the national film agency decided to develop advice concerning gender for the committees of experts that award funding.
In Ireland the six-point plan is particularly interested in creating a dialogue between female talent and possible partners (unions, production companies). Spain has a similar initiative with the organisation of meetings between professionals from the film industry and conferences on the subject. In Poland female film directors took on in the issue in debates on the place of women in film. In 2015 five debates open to the public were organised during the following film festivals: Polish Film Debuts in Koszalin 2015, Script Fiesta in Warsaw 2015, OFF Camera Krakow 2015, and the Gdynia Film Festival 2016, 2017. These debates lead the Polish Film Institute to ensure a percentage of women on the committees of experts that award funding to projects.
In the UK the British Film Institute requested its partners (Film London, Creative Scotland, Northern Ireland Screen, Cymru Wales etc.) to invest in diversity and participate in initiatives that ensure a diversification of the film industry.
In Sweden the Swedish Film Institute has decided to hold an annual awareness building seminar with teachers in order to reach out to young people.