Interview with Lucia Milazzotto

Lucia Milazzotto - Director of MIA International Audiovisual Market

Lucia Milazzotto worked for fifteen years in private companies, public institutions and Foundations to conceive and develop market programmes to support the Film, Television and Media industries in the development, production and international distribution of their content. She was Marketing and Sales Director for World Content Pole SA, which has developed a PaaS business to business platform for the Media and Entertainment industry, and was head of New Cinema Network, the co-production market of the Rome Film Festival. In the course of her career, she has created a vast network of relations globally with the media and entertainment industries: she has worked in partnership with the Sundance Institute, the major European institutions for the promotion of cinema, the Cannes Cinéfondation, European Film Promotion, Eurimages, Programma Media, the major international festivals and markets. She has also been responsible for special sections and programmes at the Locarno International Film Festival and has been a consultant to some of the important associations of producers and distributors in Italy.

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

Frankly not, even though Italy and Switzerland (which are the two countries I spent most of my adult time and grow up in my career) are both not clear examples of equal opportunities.

I shared the path with many women in these years, all in top positions in the industry and/or in their companies, and would say it has been a great experience in most of the cases, as a new generation of women, which I belong very much to, is bringing disruptive and new fresh approach and strategies towards business and management.

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

I believe we are rapidly changing women’s approach to management, shifting from trying to pretend to be men to proudly affirm totally different values and strategies in the business.

So, as in my personal and professional life, I would say that I bring very feminine qualities in my role as Director of an International market: intuition, absolute problem solving in crisis times (which women and mothers generally have highly developed), strength, empathy in negotiations, kindness, complicity.

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?

I think training and education are at the very basis of all important changes in the society. I fear the depressing relative absence of the women in the key creative roles within the industry is sadly due to self-censorship. Women don’t even try to access training. Women tend not to even try to become a director, a screenwriter, a DOP. And not much they try to start a production company. I think we should urgently encourage women not to cut themselves out of education and out of market within both creative and management roles. Most of all because we need them, us. The market needs women’s ideas, creativity and vision. Not only for gender equality but for the sake of our industry health and growth which constantly needs new energies are enhanced and supported, with no disequality or prejudice.

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

Go for it! Use your woman weapons (those I mentioned above…) and be united as we are all. Nobody will stop you, but yourself.

Who is your favorite female director?

I have many. Mira Nair, Agneszka Holland, Sally Potter, Gurinder Chanda, Miranda July, Sophia Coppola, Cristina Comencini, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmueller, Katryne Bigelow, Jane Campion, Costanza Quatriglio, Francesca Archibugi, Samira Makhmalbaf, Deepa Metha, Alice Rorhwacher, Marjane Satrapi, Laura Bispuri, Ursula Meyer, Susanna Nicchiarelli…there are many and many others successful directors. As said, all of them prove there is space for women directors.