11 Jun 2014

Brussels, June 11th

The latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival has seen inspiring women, both in the selections and their juries. However, the first study of the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) on women directors published during the Festival confirms the underrepresentation of women filmmakers across Europe – only 16% of European films, from 2003 to 2011, were directed by female directors. The Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), who requested this study, is now calling for concerted action by the new European Parliament and Commission.

The audiovisual industry seems to be at a standstill on the issue: distance of the financial decision makers from the creative process cause risk-averse decisions which lead to a shortage of women directors being hired. Swift and efficient action is needed: FERA is calling for urgent action by policy-makers, film funders and producers at both European and national levels to reverse the trend. Sweden needs to be used as an example; thanks to advanced equality policies, female directors have rose from 30 to 38% over the past five years, the highest in Europe.

As a first step, FERA calls on the implementation of targets for women directors, based on the percentage of female directors in the workforce. The lack of data is progressively being tackled through studies both at national and EU level; this continued effort must allow proper evaluation of the female workforce so that efficient measures can be implemented. Best practices must be identified by policymakers, so that regional, national film funds and Creative Europe can start implementing them widely by the end of 2015.

Creative freedom should operate with no boundaries or gender. FERA considers it necessary to cinema’s welfare to allow the diversity of talent to fully express themselves, and will continue fighting for an advancing European cinema industry.

Contact : Pauline Durand Vialle, CEO – +32 2 544 03 33 – office@filmdirectors.eu

Download it here FERA PR Calling for Change for Female Filmmakers 110614