Marit van den Elshout appointed new president of EWA Network and Melanie Hoyes new member of the board
EWA Network is delighted to introduce the new president and a new member of the board. We thank the outgoing president and still a board member, Ada Solomon, for her work in these years.
Marit van den Elshout said:
"I am extremely proud to be selected as chair of the board of EWA. I have been an avid follower of the organisation since I participated in the first workshop on producing for Multiple Revenue Streams organised by EWA. I admire the passion and energy with which EWA and its network can empower female identifying professionals in our sector and on top of that play an important role in actual inclusive ways of developing, producing and distributing our rich variety of European cinema. There is improvement in the fight for gender balance in the industry, but we also still have a long way to go. Especially when you look at the structures behind the camera and on set. I look forward to help EWA and its great team in the following years to make next steps in the growth of the network and to work on its mission."
Marit van den Elshout studied Theatre – Film and Television at the University of Utrecht. Until March 2022, Marit headed the IFFR Pro department of International Film Festival Rotterdam which includes all film industry related initiatives of the festival, including its co-production market, CineMart and the Hubert Bals Fund.
After that she worked as Head of Studies for, among other things, the New Producers Academy, a programme with the aim to develop a more diverse and inclusive producer landscape in The Netherlands. From September 2022 onwards she heads FilmForward, a skills & talent development organisation in the Dutch Film- and AV-sector.
Marit acted on several selection committees, including for the Rotterdam Media Fund, the Netherlands Film Fund (the feature film and co-productions committees) and the Dutch Cultural Media Fund. She is an EAVE 2009 graduate, has served on several juries for project markets and is a member of the European Film Academy and the Dutch Academy for Film. She worked as industry liaison for the Melbourne International Film Festival and was, among others, as advisor and international liaison on the establishment and development of Durban FilmMart.
FilmForward Company is a networking organisation connecting talent and skills development programs, workshops and events for all working professionals in the film and audio visual sector in the Netherlands. FilmForward works together with film festivals, regional talent incubators, professional associations, funds, broadcasting companies and streaming services to reinforce existing talent and skills programmes and make them more visible and accessible. Together with our stakeholders we organise activities to make sure that as a sector we will become more diverse and inclusive, and keep innovating.
Having completed postgraduate studies and teaching film and TV at undergraduate level, the BFI has given Melanie the opportunity to use these skills in a contemporary industry context. She completed a BFI research project to historically map ethnic diversity in onscreen representation in UK film for the Black Star season at the BFI Southbank in 2016, ground-breaking research and data methodology which was written up in a piece and Sight & Sound Magazine and an academic collection of essays called Black Film, British Cinema II.
In her role as Director of Inclusion at the BFI, Melanie advocates for increased access and equity in the UK film sector, leading through strategic intervention and implementation as well as consulting and collaborating with global partners to embed diversity and inclusion into policy and practice. She believes in working with and providing equitable opportunities for persistently marginalised communities and celebrating and highlighting talent. Melanie also sits on various Boards and committees (EWA and The Film and Television Charity & Inclusivity Committee), is the Europe Council Lead for the Geena Davis Institute and co-editor of the Black Film Bulletin section in Sight and Sound magazine.