Posts

Showing posts from January, 2014

Isabel Coixet

Image
Spanish women directors are amazing. I love them. They make lots of films that we don't see enough of outside Spain (see women nominated in Spain's Goya Awards 2014 here, for some of the most recent). And – I believe – they're collectively the most activist group of directors in the world. Spanish women directors founded CIMA (Asociacion de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios Audiovisuales), and then EWA, the European Women's Audiovisual Network, which is going from strength to strength – an interview with EWA's director Francine Hetherington Raveney, coming soon.
Isabel Coixet is one of the visionary directors involved with CIMA, EWA's current president and director of seven features and many shorts, docos and commercials. She was a member of the Camera d’Or jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and her latest film, Panda Eyes, is due for release shortly. This is what Isabel says on the EWA site– Every time I teach in a film school I face the same challenge: How to t…

Moving Forward?

Image
This year feels like a turning point. Many countries with state film funding are now recording gender data about their funding and making it public. This data verifies whether women writers and directors are attached to projects that apply for public funds for filmmaking (and encourages questions if they are not); and whether taxpayer funds are allocated equally to projects directed by women. And the data so far confirms that except in Sweden the allocation of funds is inequitable. In some of the countries that keep data, notably Sweden and France, institutions and activists are experimenting with multiple strategies for increasing the numbers of women-written and -directed feature films (see below). In Sweden, where gender equity policies are most developed, the list of nominees for the Swedish Film Institute's 19-category 2014 Guldbagge Awards is full of women's names, so it seems that those strategies are beginning to work.

In the United States, where there is no contestabl…

Saving Mr. Disney: A Lesbian Perspective By Carolyn Gage

Image
To stay focused when I'm writing intensively, I go to the movies in the afternoons. It's a kind of meditation that includes the walk down the hill to the cinema and back up again afterwards. And a few weeks ago, I saw three women-directed movies in three days: Rama Burshtein's Fill The Void, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch'Allah and Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said. Maybe things have changed, I thought to myself, ever optimistic. But I also noticed that men wrote and directed Catching Fire, from a novel by a woman, about a young woman and produced by a woman. And then I read Vocativ's analysis of 2013's 50 top-grossing US releases. This shows that almost half were Bechdel Test-passing films and that they did better at the US box office than those that weren't. BUT except for Frozen, which Jennifer Lee co-directed (and wrote) men directed all 50. And then at the weekend, all three of the new releases reviewed in our local paper (with enthusiasm) told s…