Berlin, February 15, 2012
International Women’s Film Organizations Present Strategies
for Gender Equality
Film Institutes and prominent industry members including Julie Taymor, Jane Fonda,
Barbara Albert, Xiaolu Guo and Isabel Coixet offer their support
With the Berlinale coming to a close this weekend with only 3 female-directed films in
the main competition, international women’s film organizations spearheaded by the
Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival and the Athena Film Festival in
New York City held a discussion on the status of women filmmakers.
The response to this groundbreaking meeting was tremendous and the room was
overflowing with film professionals including directors, producers, cinematographers,
screenwriters and festival programmers.
The strategies discussed to change the ongoing gender imbalance included:
• Gathering statistics from each country on the participation of women filmmakers.
• Raising awareness of the issue.
• Professional development and mentorship-programs for women.
• Engaging film funds and financiers to fund women’s projects.
• Developing campaigns to dismantle stereotypes regarding films by and about
• Organizing meetings at festivals and markets around the world.
The organizers received numerous statements of support in advance of the meeting from
high-level individuals including Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlin Film Festival: “The
Berlin International Film Festival is proud to support all your endeavours and the themes
you address.” Spanish director Isabel Coixet whose film Yesterday Never Ends which is
screening out of competition in the Panorama added these comments about being a
female director: "For a man, directing a movie is a fierce challenge, for a woman it is like
winning the lottery." Other statements were from Xiaolu Guo, Barbara Albert, Nancy
Savoca, Icíar Bollaín, Lisa Gornick and Vanessa Ragones among others.
Almost 100 women in the film business from across the world signed a letter supporting
the meeting in advance including, Marion Hänsel, Barbara Kopple, Chris Hegedus,
Angelina Maccarone, Keren Yedaaya, Lana Wachowski and Patricia Rozema.
Participants in the meeting included Silke J. Räbiger, (Dortmund | Cologne International
Women’s Film Festival), Britta Lengowski (Film und Medien Stiftung NRW), Francine
Hetherington Raveney (European Women’s Audiovisual Network), Tove Torbiörnsson
(Swedish Film Institute), Kate Kinninmont (Women in Film & TV UK), Mariel Maciá
(MICA, Network of Iberoamerican Women in Film and Broadcasting) and Melissa
Silverstein (Athena Film Festival).
There was general agreement that the next steps include greater networking amongst
groups to share information, resources and examples of good practices throughout the
Further details can be found on www.internationalwomensfilmfestivalnetwork.com