Berlin, February 14th 2017
In the cosy atmosphere of Betahaus, the members of EWA Network had the annual event in Berlin; this year it was exclusively for our members.
The network director, Alessia Sonaglioni gave a warm welcome to this gathering and stressed the fact that having members in more than 30 countries, it's not easy to network with other EWA members, that's why we need to make it happen.
Then EWA's director remembered that EWA Network was set up four years ago by Francine Raveney upon an initiative of the Spanish association CIMA. When she started her work Francine realised that no precise numbers as to the presence of women professionals in the audiovisual sector were available in most European countries. Therefore the study ‘Where are Women Directors in European Films' was launched and the results published in Berlin and in Cannes. This study became a benchmark for a lot of other studies conducted in Europe over these last three years and the basis for our advocacy work. In parallel EWA Network has developed its membership throughout Europe, organised trainings and participated in dozens of panel discussions.
After consulting our members opinion and expectations about EWA's work, it's planned that EWA will continue its activities in three main areas: outreach, implementation of programmes for members (as the Scriptwriter Residency managed by Suzanne Pradel, won by writer/producer Murielle Thierrin), and fostering sinergies with the industry players and national women associations.
It was mentioned how EWA NETWORK is also building partnerships with co-production markets by giving development prizes to female driven projects. We had a wonderful start with DOK Leipzig in November 2016 (thank you Brigid!) and continued in Trieste WEMW in January. We will be also at the FEST Forward market in Belgrade in the beginning of March. Also we are developing regular contacts and exchanges with national women associations such as WIFT UK, Germany, Nordic, Deuxième Regard, Hemen in the Basque Country, CIMA and FC Gloria. Nicole Ackerman president of the Board of WIFT Germany, was thanked for her support to EWA and to this event. To wrap the first part of the meeting, it was highlighted the need to continue to outreach European and National Institutions as well as industry players in order to promote policies and good practices that allow to achieve gender equality; Currently we are preparing a contribution to the public consultation on the Creative Europe programme.
Then, Romanian award-winning producer Ada Solomon was invited to the stage. How she became a producer in the comunist Romania or the complications of an European co-production were part of the talk. In the beginning, she said, everyone thought it was her husband's company, not hers. When the talk was open to the audience for some questions, Ada gave some advice as there is nothing more valuable than face to face meetings or that we learned by doing, the practical experience was the best school she ever had.
Ada Solomon emphasized that she couldn't have made it this far if she had tried to do everything on her own. The help and support she received from the people around her have been a crucial factor to her success, she argued, as she stressed how much we all need each other to achieve great things.
After the discussion with Ada Solomon, EWA members joined into a speed dating animated by a gong (thanks Belinde!) and then we proceed to close the event with the networking drinks.
Thanks Belinde Ruth Stieve, Marine Chapuis, Cecilia Johnson-Ferguson and Alexia Muiños Ruiz for the organisation.