Photographer:Fotograaf: Adèle Monod
“Small steps and big dreams” illustrates perfectly the sentiment that the visitors could feel in the room 4 of the Lumière Cinema on Saturday afternoon. The discussion regarding the Women in Film Post- #Metoo was part of the Shift Film Festival. This festival happens every year. Throughout conferences, discussion, movie screening and diverse activities the major and current societal and political shifts are put in the spotlights. Meet Maastricht, a cultural foundation gave the opportunity to students to participate to multiple events.
Throughout different themes and video clip, Jennifer O'Connell, organizer of the International Film Festival for Women and Film in Assen, Reinier Selen, producer, Kim Hottebeekx, film director, Yorn Heijnen, executive producer and director, and Maria Vatista, involved in Meet Maastricht discussed the situation of women not only in film but also in the film industry.
The panel raised many questions, maybe too much for an hour and a half, but it seemed to be up to the magnitude of the issue. From the tweet of Alyssa Milano that started the #metoo movement until the ascertainment that the fight for equality between men and women hadn’t ended, what came out most from the debate was the word ‘nuance’.
‘Nuance’ is indeed needed when choosing who to hire on a movie crew, said Reiner Selen, a producer of Dutch and international films: should we choose the best person for the job ? Or the best woman for the job? Has consciousness implied a new level of nervousness? Is it needed for change?
The guests from the panel also talked about “nuance” when they talked about the presence of movies since #metoo, evoking the problem of “commercialization of feminism” as it was demonstrated by Jennifer O’Connell with the example of Beyonce or by Yorn Heijnen when talking about the female version of Ghostbusters. Consequently, the guests turned to discussing whether it was possible to empower women without tearing down men. The discussion ended on a positive note given the fact that a discussion between filmmakers and the audience remains possible.