Eurimages, the Council of Europe co-production fund, took a step towards greater gender equality by deciding to offer a Best Female Director Prize, worth €30,000, at a future international film festival. This is in addition to a whole raft of measures adopted by the Board of Management of the Strasbourg-based Fund to promote more balanced representation of women and men in the European film industry, both on and off screen. Other measures will include quarterly master-classes, to bring experienced filmmakers from different countries to present their work to new audiences throughout Europe, thereby acting as role models.
These events will coincide with the Eurimages quarterly Board of Management meetings and are open to a wider public. Isabel Castro, Deputy Director of Eurimages, explains: “Eurimages wishes to build on the experience gained by its study group over two and a half years on gender equality. For me, one of the landmark moments was the Board of Management's adoption of a gender equality strategy and action plan at our October 2015 meeting. This ensures that we will lead the way in ringing the changes regarding gender equality in the European film industry.”
Eurimages has already been a pioneer in this area: since 2013, producers applying to the Fund have had to indicate the gender of key cast and crew members and the Bechdel test has been applied to scripts. The Fund has developed expertise and a dedicated series of indicators to analyse gender balance. This know-how will be shared at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival with national and regional film funds (15 February), further ensuring the reach of Eurimages measures in this area.