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Yerevan discusses gender equality problem in cinema

Cinema is the kind of art that has the greatest impact on the formation of public opinion and elimination of stereotypes today. That’s why it is important for a woman to become a decision-making person acting in the film and ultimately make the voice to be heard.  This task is to unite the participants of the Forum titled “Gender Equality in the Cinema”, held within the 150th session of the Eurimages Governing Council in Yerevan.

 

Founded in 1989, the European Union is the Foundation of Cultural Assistance of the Council of Europe, which includes 38 member states out of 47 CE countries, including Armenia. Since 2012, the Working Group of the Eurimage has studied gender equality and women’s involvement in leading positions. The results of the study indicate that women are not represented in cinema. According to statistics, European directors make 24% of the industry. In order to eliminate this inequality, the Eurimages has adopted the “50/50 to 2020″ strategy, the main goal of which is to achieve gender equality in cinema in the next two years.

 

It is worth mentioning that almost the same picture of women’s involvement in cinema is also in the Hollywood film industry. This is evidenced by sociologist Stacey Smith’s researches. As a result of more than 10 years of research, the sociologist concluded that there is a crisis of women’s involvement in American filmmaking. According to him, women continue to be presented as subordinate, marginalized characters that do not have their own opinions, do not affect decision-making.

 

Director Seda Grigoryan studied the problem of gender representation in the Armenian film market. The study is based on films and projects funded by the National Cinema Center of Armenia, as it is the only government agency dealing with financial support. Accordingly, over the past five years, women’s participation has fluctuated between 5.5% and 28.6% in the whole process of production of short films. It is noteworthy that female filmmakers have often initiated short films that have been financially supported by the state. The representation of female directors in this genre has reached up to 60% over the years, while the picture of the creation of feature films is quite different. No filmmaker has ever received any support from the National Cinema Center for the creation of a feature film.

 

Gender equality is one of the priorities of the Council of Europe, and the very idea of ​​”50/50 to 2020” has been based on this idea, which has elaborated the Eurimage for the film industry. “The Audiovisual sphere, which includes cinema, television, and video game production, has a serious impact on the creation and modification of basic society norms and values, including the idea of ​​gender equality. Our goal is to achieve gender equality not only on the screen, that is, in the images we see every second, but beyond the screen, creating equal access to audio-visual production for all, regardless of gender, “says Iris Zappe Halller, Chair of the Gender Equality Working Group.

 

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