FERA, SAA and EWA partner Strasbourg event (10th December) on the subject of equal opportunities for female film directors in co-operation with the LUX Prize and hosted by Ms Nadja Hirsch, Vice Chair on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
According to statistics compiled by Martha Lauzen, the executive director of Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, just 15 percent of all narrative films made in the United States in 2011, and 5 percent of the 250 with the highest grosses at the box office, were directed by women.
We don’t yet have any such statistics for Europe, but since 2000, the Cannes Film Festival has screened 212 films in competition. Of those: Seventeen titles were directed by a total of 14 women, two titles — Shrek and Persepolis — were co-‐directed by women. Only one woman has won the Palme d'Or — Jane Campion was a joint winner in 1993 with "The Piano".
British director Lynne Ramsay describes this as "shocking". "There is a huge inequality in the numbers," Ramsay says she has never encountered overt sexism, but observes that when male directors are demanding and exacting "they can be seen as artistic and creative and having huge integrity, whereas women can be seen as difficult and problematic". The gender imbalance in directing, she says, is "a bit like a country not being filmed – and that country not having a voice. It really does matter."
• Bring the debate on equal opportunities in the audiovisual sector to relevant policymakers at European level.
• Produce concrete recommendations and identify at what level(s) they need to be implemented.
Nadja Hirsch, MEP
Doris Pack, MEP (to be confirmed)
Elisabeth O. Sjaastad, Chief Executive FERA
Benja Stig Fagerland, author of the recently published “SHEconomy”
Facts & Figures
Beryl Richards, director and chair of the women’s committee in Directors UK
Lou Jeunet, director and board member of 25 images, France
Julio Talavera, European Audiovisual Observatory
The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) is an international organisation that represents 40 directors’ associations and approximately 20,000 film and television directors from 28 countries, speaking in the European arena for their economic, cultural and creative rights.
The European Women’s Audiovisual network (EWA) is a
pan-European network, which promotes greater equality throughout the audiovisual sector (especially in terms of equal access to employment) and which is striving for more balanced representation of women in audiovisual content.
The Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) is the association of European collective management organisations representing audiovisual authors’ rights. Its 25 member societies in 18 European countries manage the authors’ rights of over 120,000 European film and television screenwriters and directors.
The organisers would like to sincerely thank Ms Carole Tongue, former MEP, for all of her support in making this event possible.