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New Insights at CIFF 2019

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

The Carla Think Tank came together during Carl International Film Festival in Karlskrona from 24-25th August, 2019 to share insights and stati-quo of gender equality in Europe and track down narratives and strategies for how to achieve the goal of gender equality. We're also excited about the look-out to our milestone conference in Karlskrona 2020.

Representatives from European WIFT chapters met at CIFF as part of the Carla Think Tank

Spending two days at Skärva Herrgård outside Karlskrona with WIFT representatives from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Georgia and Canada, we had the chance to get a sense for the challenges and successes in each country, think about how to organise change and generally spread good energy and inspiration for how powerful we can be.

What has been most beneficial during these days was the time to share our experiences, to have an open and honest conversation as a collective and appreciate everyone's input and efforts. Taking this space allowed us to see that each country faces different challenges and is at different stages of gender equality as well as to work out different methods to achieve change.

What ran through our discussion as a recurrent theme - be it in progressive Sweden or still highly patriarchal Georgia - is that gender inequality is a structural and systemic problem. It is not only about demanding more female directors and female stories, but starting out at the bottom and the top end by asking: is our film

Dr. Susan Liddy from MIC Limerick giving a WIFTI Talk @CIFF 2019 /Photo: Helena Pataki

chain open enough to allow female filmmakers to become directors? Who funds projects and who do they give money to? Who talks about inequality and who doesn't? We realised that gender is not necessarily on the agenda of public broadcasters and film institutions, often it's not more than a box to possibly be ticked. It is still something uncomfortable or unnecessary to talk about. This is why we need persistent approaches from multiple angles that press for breaking these structures up.

"It takes a lot of strength to make change. We have it."

Since systems are still immobile and static and still serving those that are privileged and in power positions, we need to take a look from the outside and see the holistic picture of the problems that manifest in the film industry.

Pow-wow is one thing. Putting ideas into practice another.

Over this weekend, Carla Think Tank started the prep for Karlskrona 2020, a conference that will set the new global standard for how to implement gender equality and a sustainable system for the film industry. It will be about recognising the importance of networks that work with advocacy and activism, to inspire all the players of the film industry to embrace making change and to create access to successful gamechangers and tools.

Working against an unsustainable system can be tough. But it also encourages everyone to ask: who do we want to be as a film industry? What kind of environment do we need to include everyone in the discussion?

Watch out for upcoming initiatives here and the WIFT International website.

AoWN on the red carpet at CIFF 2019