Women and Cinema

Women were present in the history of cinema from the very first minute: just look at the factory workers' exit filmed by Louis Lumière in 1895, where two shifts of men, women and children crossed paths at the factory gates. At that time, Alice Guy-Blaché was twenty-two years old and perhaps already knew that she was going to devote herself to cinema: in fact, she shot and produced more than 600 movies, even competing with the legendary Hollywood of silent films.

It was not until 1949 that Ida Lupino, known as an actress, took the reins of directing the film she had co-produced and co-written when her director, Elmer Clifton, suffered a heart attack, although she would not appear in the credits as director out of respect for Clifton. She would go on to direct 8 more, including the well-known Outrage, about a rape, and was the first woman to direct a film noir. She never gave up directing, achieving great success as a director of television series in the 1960s and 70s.

 

Alice Guy-Blaché and Ida Lupino

However, we will have to accept that she was an exception. Women are neither then nor now represented in a balanced way, neither in culture nor in cinema. It is still difficult for sets and clapperboards to speak female, for scripts to tell how women see the world and for actresses to play characters conceived by women.

We had to wait until 2010 to see the Hollywood Academy award the first Oscar to a woman director, Californian Kathryn Bigelow, and until 2018 in Spain for two women directors to win the Goya Awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best New Director: Isabel Coixet and Carla Simon. Although the figures have improved since then, it is clear that women are fighting on a daily basis on The hurt locker, to paraphrase the title of the Oscar-winning film.

This inequality must be redressed. We need the multiple voices and perspectives of women and men in all artistic manifestations. We need to make room for women as creators, as interpreters of reality, to be recognised in the film industry and by the public.

Carlota Álvarez Basso and Diego Mas Trelles, co-directors
March 2018 I edition

Reference articles on cinema, politics and women:

Cima Report 2020. The representativeness of women in the Spanish feature film sector. Spanish version.

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Mia Report 2020. Women in the animation industry. Spanish version.

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CIMA Report 2019. Women represent 30% of staff in feature film industry. Spanish version.

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Mujeres que (se) animan en España. La obra de las directoras de largometraje de animación. Un estudio de Mercedes Álvarez San Román del grupo de Investigación Televisión y Cine: Memoria, Representación e Industria (TECMERIN), publicado en la revista “Con A de Animación” de la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Spanish version.

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Female directors and screenwriters in European film and audiovisual fiction production .

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Gender parity moves forward in the finnish film industry.

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Gender Equality: Gender Balance in the Cultural and Creative Sectors. Structured dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector.

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Pioneering Women in Film. Parity as an objective. Spanish version.

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Female Directors in Eurpean Cinema. Key figures.

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The situation of women workers in the audiovisual and performing arts sector in Galicia. Galician version.

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International Plan Report: 79% of young women do not feel identified with the leaders who appear in fiction. Spanish version.

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Pioneering Women in Film. An initiative from the Swedish Film Institute and the Swedish Minister of Culture.

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Spanish Effective Equality for Men and Women Act.

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EFA Director Marion Döring’s approach on Gender equality in the Film industry and other articles on the matter.

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Film researcher Conchita Martínez Tejedor’s approach on Women on the other side of the camera: where are the film directors?

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CIMA Report 2018. Representativeness of women in the Spanish film sector, by Sara Cuenca Suárez, Social research from a gender perspective. Spanish version.

Read

CIMA Report 2017. Representativeness of women in the Spanish film sector, by Sara Cuenca Suárez, Social research from a gender perspective. Spanish version.

Read

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