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EWA Network at REC Tarragona

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

Gender Equality and the Film sector: EWA Network presentation at REC Tarragona

In the context of the 17th International Film Festival of Tarragona. REC, EWA’s Head of Research & PR Francine Raveney, presented EWA’s ongoing initiatives and recent national legislations.

In 2016, the publication of the EWA Network Study provided the first comprehensive analysis of the situation of female directors in 7 European countries and involved 4 universities and 6 national research centres. The study periods 2006-2009 and 2010-2013. The methodology was to combine quantitative and qualitative analyses of the situation. The study found that there was relative gender equality across the board in all countries concerned at film school level but that active women directeors represented on average only a 21% share in the industry. This data included Sweden which has already reached its target of 50/50 for recipients of public funding, so other countries lowered the average. Acrosss the 7 countries, 90% of the questionnaire respondents considered that more films directed by women would have an impact on representation of women in film. 85% thought it would have a positive impact on the status of women in society. The study gave 15 proposals for change included in the exec.summary.

In 2017 the Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation on Gender Equality in the audiovisual sector which covers 47 countries, and whoch can be used by lobbying groups and professional associations as aleverage tool to help bring about change.

The recommendation was drafted by a wide range of international experts from funds and broadcasters in Council of Europe member states, with feedback from representatives of prominent industry bodies and academics.

It is the first ever pan-European recommendation to acknowledge the problems inherent in the industry from a gender perspective, including:
- the lack of awareness of the prevalence of gender inequality;
- the conscious and unconscious gender bias at all levels;
- the unequal distribution of funding for audiovisual content among women and men;
and to promote a variety of practical solutions to address these issues.

The recommendation invites governments of Council of Europe member states to:
- review their legislation and policies;
- collect, monitor and publish data;
- support research;
- encourage the ongoing development of media literacy;
- enhance the accountability processes.

It also contains a detailed series of monitoring methods and performance indicators to assist all sectors of the audiovisual industry in collecting data and taking coherent action on their findings. In addition, there is a handy list of reference tools for developing knowledge in this sector. Outreach events will be held to disseminate best practice and share know-how.

After the presentation of EWA's last initiatives (the mentoring programme for women producers, EWA’s Scriptwriter’s Residency in BerlinDevelopment Awards in Trieste and Dok Leipzig), the performance of the visual artist Marla Jacarilla to raise the visibility of women directors was started. Then, Carla Sospedra (EWA member) explained how the Women in Film in Catalonia had just launched the action plan #DonesVisuals to help emergent writers, directors and producers boost their projects.