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You Cannot Be Serious – Berlinale 2013

Francine Raveney, Mariel Macia, Kate Kinninmont, Melissa Silverstein

Even with the internet, women like me – who live far away from Europe and almost as far from most of Asia and the Americas, and who don't have the money to travel – can sometimes feel uninformed or even isolated. So I was thrilled when I saw that coolwomenandfilm had uploaded a record of You Cannot Be Serious, a meeting of women in film, at this year's Berlinale.

The videos here provide an opportunity to meet so many special activists: Stefanie Görtz from the Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival; Britta Lengowski from Film und Medien NRW; Silke J Räbiger, director of the Dortmund Cologne IWFF; Kate Kinninmont CEO of WIFT UK (who invites women in the audience to identify themselves by their occupation – there's even one who works in costume!); Francine Hetherington Raveney from EWA, the European Women's Audiovisual Network; Tove Torbiörnsson from the Swedish Film Institute, which has done so much good work for women. And then there's the panel discussion, chaired by Kate Kinninmont, with Mariel Macia from MICA, Mujeres Iberoamericanas del Cine y Medios Audiovisuales, Francine Raveney and Melissa Silverstein from Women & Hollywood and the Athena Film Festival. The International Women's Film Festival Network is a presence, because some of the women are also involved with that and this  reminded me of a post I wrote when the network started up, a year ago.

I love seeing these women in action, listening to their diverse views and about their diverse experiences, and hearing the women in the audience, too. But the panel discussion took me a while to watch; YouTube kept giving up on it, so you may need to persevere! If you do, I think you'll be glad you did! There's so much there: about community and collaboration and co-production; about the importance of data and the importance of action; about sharing information and the internet's central place to networking; about Cannes and quality and money; about the importance of numbers and the importance of 'names'; about advocacy and sponsorship; about funding. And about the big question: 'How Can We Be Powerful?' Fascinating. And it concludes with a wonderful story about director Jasmila Zbanic, who won the Berlinale's Golden Bear in 2006.

Since then, a group of women's film associations co-ordinated by Mariel Macia has made a submission to the European Community's consultation on Assessing State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works. It's here (scroll down).















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