Aufruf: Please lend us your name!

Discussion on the Status of Women Directors / Women in Filmbusiness 

Over the last several years, there has been growing cry in many corners of the world about the continuing lack of representation of women directors at top-tier film festivals and international award ceremonies. You probably don’t need reminding that the Cannes Film Festival 2012 again became the focus of worldwide criticism for repeatedly disregarding women film directors and their work – a characteristic shared by other major festivals. Only once during the entire history of the festival has the Palme d’Or been awarded to a female director – in 1993, in fact, to Jane Campion who shared the award that year with Chen Kaige. To date, only four women have picked up first prize at the Berlin and Venice competitions, and only Kathryn Bigelow has won an Academy Award for Best Director.

Despite these discouraging statistics, we remain convinced that films made by women meet the international standards as defined by the big-name festivals. At the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in 2013, the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival and the Athena Film Festival in NY – along with colleagues from the newly created International Women’s Film Festival Network (IWFFN), the European Women’s Audiovisual network (EWA), Mujeres Iberoamericanas de Cine y Medios Audiovisuales (MICA) and others – are convening A Discussion on the Status of Women Directors where we will be calling on international representatives from film festivals, networks and the film business to raise further awareness of the issue in the media and to draw up an international agenda that will ensure sustainable progress and ultimately lead to gender equity for women directors in the industry.

We hope that not only women working in the film industry become aware of this issue and that all of us can make a contribution to reducing the present imbalance. We firmly believe that in the future women in the film industry will make greater advances, the aim we are so greatly committed to.

Never before have women’s films festivals and supporters of a more equitable playing field for women-directed work joined together to raise our voices in unison and address this problem. The goal of achieving equal opportunities for women throughout the film industry must remain a vision until a fair and properly balanced proportion is achieved.

This issue has gone unaddressed for far too long and we now suffer from the lack of visions for women as part of the larger cultural conversation. We are asking you, as a director, to join with us and lend your name to this ground-breaking effort.

Sincerely,

Silke J. Räbiger (Dortmund | Cologne IWFF) and Melissa Silverstein & Kathryn Kolbert (Athena Film Festival)

Please note: To join the effort all you need to do is lend your name. Please sign or email: directoriwffn@gmail.com if you would like to join the effort. Also, if you want to contribute any thoughts or a statement, we would be happy to include that in the materials.



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