The European Commission is currently working on the Communication from the Commission Regarding State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works, establishing the evaluation criteria by which each country is directed to give aid to cinema and other audiovisual works. Gender equality is being lobbied as part of the criteria.
The 2001 Communication has been in place until December 2012. In this moment, the European Commission is preparing a new Communication and has opened a consultation period, to which fourteen associations and women's film festivals from different European countries replied submitting a proposal.
The document, prepared by the Spanish Association of Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media Professionals (CIMA) has been signed by organizations from Germany, France, England, Italy, Iceland, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, as well as EWA (European Women 's Audiovisual Network) and MICA (Ibero-American Network of Women in Film and Audiovisual Media), which are entities promoted by CIMA.
After the presentation, every organization is working in obtaining institutional support in their respectives countries and new organizations to join the proposal. In Spain, the general director of ICAA Spanish Film Institute, Susana de la Sierra, and the director for Equal Opportunities and Women's Institute, Carmen Plaza, supported the proposal. Both have expressed their commitment in writing.
This joint action is the first to be held after the historic meeting at last year's Berlinale Film Festival, where International Women in Film and Media organizations presented a international strategy to work for gender parity in the film industry all over the world.
In the document, the organizations go on record stating that "the very scarce presence of women in positions of creative work and responsibility in European cinema and the audiovisual industry creates a gender gap in the audiovisual sector. Despite the gradual increase of women, the numbers are not yet representative of what should be a normalized presence of women in that field of society” They add sthat "It is necessary to generate images of female roles more appropriate to the European social reality”. Finally, the associations and festivals signatories conclude, “This situation can turn into a chronic problem if the measures for the development and consolidation of the audiovisual industry do not take into account this reality”.
During the Cannes meeting of several of these women, it was encouraged to compile data verifying that public funds, taken out of the population's taxes (roughly 50% women, 50% men) should be allocated equally. If there are not enough women to be placed in the higher levels of the audiovisual industry, then the public funding should go toward educating a greater number of women for those positions.
FOR EQUALITY IN EUROPEAN LEGISLATION ON FILM AND MEDIA
● Organizations of women in Film and Media from across Europe urge the European Commission to include equality in the evaluation of aid grant to film and media production.
● The organizations ask the Communication of the Commission to includes in its articles “an explicit reference to the fact that aid intended for the equalization between women and men contributes to the development of cultural diversity”.
● The proposed changes in the legislation has been signed by 14 organizations from 10 European countries.
● In Spain. The general director of ICAA Spanish Film Institute, Susana de la Sierra, and the general director for Equal Opportunities and Women's Institute, Carmen Plaza, support the document sent to Europe.
SUPPORT IN SPAIN
Susana de la Sierra, General Director of ICAA Spanish Film Institute: "Women in Media, as in many other areas of society are still underrepresented and their presence in the industry does not reflect the ideal of equal rights to aspire to. Along with general policies of equality, are also essential transversal measures, that affect concrete problems that arise in each area. For this reason, proposals like this that you are presenting are vital."
Carmen Plaza, Director General for Equal Opportunities and Women's Institute: "The audiovisual production is an important part of European culture, to be truly diverse and balanced, women should be able to participate in it fully, and with equal opportunities in every different specialties. "
AUTHORS OF THE DOCUMENT
§ (Spain) CIMA, Association of Women in Film and Media
§ (Germany) International Dortmund Cologne Film Festival
§ (Germany) WIFT, Women in Film and Television
§ (France) Films de Femmes, International Films Festival
§ (U.K.) WFTV, Women in Film & TV
§ (Iceland) WIFT, Women in Film and Television
§ (Sweden) WIFT, Women in Film and Television
§ (Belgium) Elles Tournent –Dames Draaien
§ (Ireland) WFTV, Women in Film & TV
§ (Italy) Laboratorio Immagine Donna- Women Film Festival
§ (Austria) Tricky Women, International Animation Film Festival Vienna
§ (Denmark) WIFT /DK– Women in film & Television, Danmark
§ (Europe) EWA, European Women´s Audiovisual Network
§ (Spain, Portugal and Latin America) MICA, Iberoamerican Network of Women in Film and Media
If you are interested in further the goal of female parity in the industry, contact Mariel Maciá, Executive Director of MICA - Red de Mujeres Iberoamericanas de Cine y Medios Audiovisuales at mariel.macia [AT] micarediberoamericana.com
For more information on CIMA and their proposal visit HERE