The European Commission has a launched a new awareness campaign aimed at encouraging women to enter cinema professions traditionally dominated by men such as cinematography, sound and grip.
The CharactHER initiative has been spearheaded by French gender equality activist Delphyne Besse, one of the founding members of France’s trail-blazing body Le Collectif 50/50.
It revolves around 12 video portraits of women who have forged successful careers in traditionally male-dominated parts of the film industry. They include Greek cinematographer Olympia Mytilinaiou, Belgian showrunner Marie Enthoven, Romanian director and animator Anca Damian, Danish stunt performer Anne Rasmussen, Italian VFX supervisor Gaia Bussolati, French composer Uèle Lamore, Austrian Colourist Susi Dollnig and German key grip Maike Maier.
“The hope is that these portraits and career paths of the featured professionals could encourage more women to get into similar roles too,” explained Besse. “Although a lot of work has been done to improve gender equality in the industry in the wake of #MeToo, there are a lot of film professions where women remain scarce, even in France where we have the impression that things are much better,”
Figures supplied by the European Film Academy analysing the gender-breakdown of it members by profession showed women accounted for just 7% of those in sound technician roles, 10% of music-related roles, 11% of VFX supervision roles, 38% of film editing and 8% of unspecified technician roles overall.
Women dominated, however, in hair and make-up (74%), casting (82%) and costume (87%).