Meanwhile, They're filming… Report on the Festival Elles Tournent, 2016
At the eighth edition of the Elles Tournent (they're filming) Film Festival in Brussels, in the span of a few days, forty films of all genres by women filmmakers of all nationalities captivated a loyal and consistently avid public.
While one may hear that there are not enough women filmmakers, that their works are not very profitable, or that they are not sufficiently visible to the public, all these arguments seem out-dated and pointless when it comes to festivals that distinguishes themselves, such as the festival "Elles Tournent".
According to a Belgian study, "Femmes et cinéma : Derrière l'écran, où sont les femmes ?" (Engender asbl, forthcoming) ["Women and cinema: Behind the screen, where are the women?"] violence, sexuality and the male lead character are much less likely to be on the screens of women directors than those of their male counterparts. Is it the public who makes this choice or is it the funders who drive it, hence undervaluing their interest? "The content should be imposed on the funders, not the makers", noted a filmmaker from Canada, where the film industry has decided to eliminate the notion of quotas.
Whether fiction, documentary, experimental or advertising, perhaps this is the most common characteristic among all these women makers and their film. If one considers that most of these makers are struggling to be heard, they do not hesitate to bring the voices of other women who are reduced to silence (sometimes mute) on the screen. In Kung Fu Grandma, Korean Jeong-One Park examined the resistance of elderly ladies to sexual assaults, as they are the main prey in the slums in Kenya.