The film industry has a diversity problem, this is no news. But today's news comes with a somewhat promising sign: At a gender equality conference at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug. 14–22) titled "Women in Today's Film Industry: Gender Issues. Can We Do Better?", members of the European film industry decided to pass a declaration that aims to make film a more female-friendly space. This means both in front of and behind the camera. "A true democracy must make full use of the skills, talents, and creativity of women and men alike," the declaration states.
Efforts include getting more gender diversity through studies, stats, and conferences as such. It also calls for more women on higher, decision-making roles, as well as encouragement to filmmakers for better on-screen female representation. Read the full declaration here.
This is a great first step, but the optimism comes with a good dose of wariness. The Hollywood Reporter states that a similar declaration was passed in 2008 in Madrid, and yet women filmmakers still make up a fifth or less of the total number in Europe. Still, this is a conversation in the right direction. Let's hope we start seeing some actual results soon.
Now: Let's make that same declaration stateside, and maybe also address racial diversity? And the lack of queer voices, too?