Interview with Jacobine Van der Vloed

Jacobine Van der Vloed : Director & Head of Studies of the ACE Producer’s network

Jacobine worked for over ten years for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (CineMart & Hubert Bals Fund), as well as in many other capacities within the industry. In the four years before joining ACE Producers she co-founded the Art:Film initiative, worked as a teacher at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, was a talent agent for directors and screenwriters at Henneman Agency, and consulted for several markets and festivals. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Cultural History from the University of Utrecht in 2002.

Please tell us about your career as a woman in the industry. Have you encountered any difficulties related to your gender?

In 2003 I started at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, worked my way up in the organisation and was in the end co-running CineMart. After ten years working for the festival I felt the need for a change and started freelancing for a variety of different companies, festivals and institutions. During those years I gained extra knowledge in other fields of the industry and I can use all of these skills in my current position at ACE Producers.

Personally, I have hardly felt difficulties related to my gender. There have been some incidents when I felt like a different species, f.e. during a negotiation process, but I consider that the other persons problem.

 How does being a woman reflect on your professional life today?

I grew up in a liberal family with loving parents, two sisters and a brother. The women were on the dominant side, so in our case my brother had to fight for his position. It was a given fact though that we are simply homo sapiens, nature has decided that there are men and women, but this never meant one would be better than the other. Men and women have their strengths and weaknesses, sometimes related to their gender. In my case on a professional level I will always combine my business mind with an empathic approach. I don’t see how I could to it any different.

Which are the most urgent issues to be addressed to achieve gender equality within the industry? And which kind of initiatives would be the most efficient?

Our industry is doing pretty well on gender equality, at least thats how I experience it here in the Netherlands. Of course, I read the articles that there are hardly films selected in the main competitions by female directors, which I dont question at all, but also look at the producers credits. We have many producers in the ACE Network doing a fantastic job!

Nevertheless it is still a given fact that the situation is different in other territories. I would definitely support a situation where gender equality is openly discussed amongst people from different territories.

What advice would you give to women who access the industry?

Always trust your gut feeling. Dont follow expectations, figure out what’s good for you and follow your own path. This naturally means making mistakes and getting doors shut into your face, but try to see the fun of overcoming these obstacles.

Who is your favorite female director?

Thats a tough choice and I usually go through phases, now it is going to be Andrea Arnold.