Talking, debating, finding the causes and the solutions to enable further steps to be taken on the road towards equality in a field as traditionally masculine as the film industry. Inertia took us to the end of the twentieth century with pretty appalling figures for the professional role played by women in film; the twenty first century however, is ushering in change and progress, and there is no going back. There are more and more women filmmakers, photography directors, editors and scriptwriters stepping out of the shadows, and making a name for themselves with their talent and professionalism.
We are going to talk about this and much more in the framework of the exhibition “The horizontal gaze. Women in contemporary Spanish film”. The portraits of Óscar Fernández Orengo reveal the change; a gender and generational change in our film industry, with a cast of women filmmakers (and by filmmakers we mean any kind of professional working in any number of film disciplines) that is shaking the foundations of our industry.
Various voices are here to tell us more about the women in the portraits and the environment they inhabit, and about the barriers, the walls against which they have crashed and over which they have jumped, and the challenges to be met in the present and the future so that history stops repeating itself. If cinema is the reflection of society as regards its content, it is time for this to be replicated behind the cameras, blurring the limits and differences between genders, and the salary gaps, and changing the old traditionally vertical structures.
The international initiatives of women in the film industry, in tandem with the progress of feminism worldwide, have ensured more studies have been published on women filmmakers in recent years. Their work is analysed, but seldom do they get the chance to talk about their working conditions as women in a film world dominated by men. The aim of this multidisciplinary project, which began as a book of interviews soon to be published, and is set to continue with this exhibition and virtual talk, as well as with seminars and other activities, is to introduce the women in our film industry to the world, with their presence, their voice and their horizontal gaze.
Roser Aguilar (filmmaker, exhibition subject and interviewee)
Marta Álvarez (Co-editor of the book, University of Franche-Comté)
Óscar Fernández Orengo (photographer)
Esther Gimeno Ugalde (moderator, University of Vienna)
Annette Scholz (Women and Film)