The campaign, presented today at the Cannes Film Festival, is an initiative of the Creative Europe program of the European Commission, in partnership with Coletivo 50/50 - which appeared in 2018 at this same festival, with a Letter for Parity -, within the scope of an action plan announced in December for this sector. The project (www.characther.eu) consists of the presentation of short videos with European women who work and are recognized in different areas of cinema, audiovisual and media, having already presented the Romanian director Anca Damian, the French composer Uèle Lamore and the Danish duo Anne Rasmussen.
On the official page you can access some statistics that support the need for this campaign: Women represent 51 percent of the European population, but only 20 percent of films produced in Europe between 2015 and 2018 were made by women. In the media, 40 percent of journalists are women, but in a sample of 240 media outlets, only 22 percent of women held management positions. With this awareness-raising campaign, the EC aims to "encourage young women to pursue careers in areas traditionally considered masculine, showing them that success is possible". "Currently in Europe, only one in five films is made by a woman. We want this to change. And this doesn't just happen in directing. In this campaign we see that there is a wide variety of professions in the media and audiovisual that are little known, but very attractive", said the vice president of CE Vera Jourová, in statements to Variety magazine.
In terms of gender equality, the common European space is moving at different speeds from the legal and statistical point of view of women's representation in film production, creation and representation and in media companies. On Thursday, the European Audiovisual Observatory (OAS) released an extensive report precisely on diversity, including gender equality, ethnic and religious representation, and concluded that "there is a long way to go" in cinema and audiovisual, hampered in 2020 by the context of the pandemic.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has not only accentuated the already existing inequalities between men and women in virtually all sectors, both in Europe and abroad, it has also had an impact on underrepresented ethnic groups and minorities," the report reads. Among the problems detected in the European context, the observatory indicates, for example, the lack of harmonisation and methodology between Member States, which makes the process of collecting and processing statistical data more complex.