Women in Film: Panel and screenings to put spotlight on gender equality

Caitlin Logan

Film collective to run 3-day programme exploring women’s representation on and off screen

SCOTLAND-BASED Spanish, Iberian and Latin-American film collective Cinemaattic is holding a three day programme in Edinburgh and Glasgow on women in film starting on 14 February, which will feature panel discussions with women from the creative sector, and screenings of short films made by women.

Entitled ‘Mujeres’ (Spanish for ‘women’), the events will explore the question of women’s representation in film, women’s access to the film industry, and how gender equality in film might be achieved.

The programme is intended to form part of the “long overdue” positive change taking place in the global film industry.

READ MORE: Film on gender equality to form centre piece of programme on social divides

Programme coordinator for Cinemaattic Alberto M Valverde told CommonSpace that this was part of the collective’s attempt to be “more socially driven”.

He said: “We are not the most activist organisation, not at all. The work of ‘amigas’ organisations such as Take One Action, Engender or Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, or in our country [Spain] CIMA deserves some attention.

“Yet since we took over Cinemaattic’s programming two years ago we had a clear intention to be more socially driven in the films we programme and the educational events we organise. We wanted to discuss more, talk more about the films and enhance film appreciation, at the same time as talking about film industry issues.”

The first panel debate, taking place at Edinburgh College of Art on Wednesday, will feature documentary filmmaker and a film lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University Sana Bilgrami, Scottish Documentary Institute project manager Flore Cosquer, and Edinburgh College of Art’s undergraduate programme director for film & TV Dr Itandehui Jansen.

In Glasgow, the discussion on Thursday will include script supervisor Cristin Mackenzie, Steadicam and Camera Operator Svetlana Miko, cinematographer Kirstin McMahon, and animation director, art director and illustrator Alexandra Castellanos.

Flore Cosquer, who has produced and executive-produced various short and mid-length documentary films, told CommonSpace the event would be a “great opportunity to discuss means to achieve equality at a local and tangible level for Scottish filmmakers”.

READ MORE: Girls on Film: How the gender battle behind the camera hampers industry

She said: “Since its inception, Scottish Documentary Institute has always placed gender equality at the forefront of its work.

“Dealing with documentary training and emerging talents daily, the priority for me is to think of strategies beyond the short term effects of enforced positive discrimination, and to challenge our ingrained learnt behaviours on the subject of equality.”

The short films, which will be screened at the CCA in Glasgow ahead of the panel discussion on Thursday and at Old St Paul’s Hall in Edinburgh on Friday, will all be ‘F rated’, which means they are “directed by women, written by women and/or present significant female characters on screen, in their own right”.

Valverde added: “Last year we organised for the first time a panel discussion to talk about gender equality. We didn’t want that to be a one off, so here we are again, hoping to learn from filmmakers and professionals how to be better programmers, how to look more critically at films we see and how to tap into the problems at a local level and potential solutions.

“We hope to focus on long term solutions and impacts – that is why we have such a strong panel composed of professionals who are at the same time award winning filmmakers and lecturers in Scottish universities.”

Find out more and register to attend at the Cinemaattic website.

Picture courtesy of Cinemaattic

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