Women’s issues at the Valencia Film Festival

Article published on Oct. 20, 2008
Article published on Oct. 20, 2008
The 29th Valencia Film Festival (VFF) is putting the focus on women, with a series of seven films directed by women and a round table on Women and Film. Áurea Ortiz, professor of Film History at Valencia University, led yesterday’s round table discussion. She was pessimistic about women’s place in the film industry, stating “This is a problem we’re not going to solve”.

Ortiz opened the debate with a description of the audiovisual scene in Valencia, where 49 films are showing in theatres this week. Of these films, only nine were directed by women (one was co-directed). Moreover, almost all the titles are European and low-budget (except for Mamma Mia!), which demonstrates how difficult it is for women to gain access to mega-productions.

Ortiz also pointed out that there are few female festival directors or critics. Moreover, of the 25 best-performing films in Spain this year, only three featured women in the lead roles.

Begoña Siles – writer and professor of Audiovisual Narrative at Cardenal Herrera-CEU University – drew attention to the fact that the VFF is screening 154 audiovisual works, of which only 21 are directed by women.

Inés París – director, screenwriter and president of CIMA (Association of Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media) – remarked: “This is a thoroughly male-dominated profession”.

Finally, Slovakian director Janja Glogovac – who is taking part in this year’s festival with her film L...Like Love in the Mostra Mujeres section – commented during the round table discussion: “As I listen, I realise my problem isn’t unique, it goes well beyond my country”.

María Gómez cineuropa.org