Gender Equality in Film: Professor Tasini Invited to Cinema d'Autrice Event

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JCU Professor and filmmaker Erika Tasini was invited to participate in Cinema d’Autrice, a 2-day workshop for female film professionals in Rome from September 18 to 20. Organized by Spin-Off, a cultural association of professors and communications experts, the event promotes the importance of women in film and discusses the difficulties encountered by female film professionals.

Erika Tasini - Cinema d'autrice

From left: Erika Tasini and Maria Coletti – Cinema d’autrice, Roma

Cinema d’Autrice featured screenings, discussion panels, workshops and presentations. Among the participants were female screenwriters, directors, producers, communications experts, and film students. Screenings of short films by young female filmmakers and students were followed by a workshop on how to deliver a good pitch.

The event featured a special workshop dedicated to women in film from an international perspective. Moderated by the French journalist and Middle East expert Catherine Cornet, it hosted, among others, JCU Professor Erika Tasini and Maria Coletti of the Cineteca Nazionale. Professor Tasini talked about gender inequality in Europe and the United States and stressed the fact that women are underpaid and underrepresented in the cinema industry. Maria Coletti presented an introductory lecture on the history of cinema made by women, with a particular focus on North-African production from Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia. She talked about how during and after the Arab Spring, women filmmakers were given more space and mentioned the Egyptian director Mariam Abou-Ouf.

Professor Tasini examined the similarities between the conditions of female film professionals across different European countries, and pinpointed the lack of equality in accessing roles as directors, directors of photography, and producers. Gender inequality also extends to unequal compensation and budgets that women can receive for their movies, especially for their first feature films.

Professor Tasini also discussed the role of activist organizations such as Women in Film and European Women’s Audiovisual Network in bringing positive change through workshops, panels and mentorship programs, where more experienced film professionals can train and prepare upcoming members of the female film community.

“Cinema d’Autrice was a great opportunity to discuss gender inequality in the film industry while exploring what makes cinema made by women so relevant. It is truly inspiring to see, even in Italy, that more and more professional and academic initiatives give visibility to the film work of women. My hope is that, in a not-so-distant future, there will be no need to differentiate between films made by men and women and that women will be equally represented.”