Women in Ukrainian cinema: challenges and victories
Executive Director of Odesa International Film Festival,
Executive Director of the Ukrainian Film Academy,
co-founder of the online resource DzygaMDB
Since the beginning of the cinema, women have been at the forefront, which means making a no less significant contribution to culture than men. However, in the 1920s, when the industry began to develop actively, women were gradually moved from the director's chairs into the assembly shops. And over these hundred years, the world cinema industry has changed more than once. In Ukraine, the situation is similar to many other countries. The industry is still dominated by men, but the situation is gradually changing. A woman in the cinema was perceived as something unique for a long time. Especially if this woman was a camerawoman. Today it is not such a clamorous event, as before. Many women's names have appeared as directors, including Iryna Tsilyk, Marysia Nikitiuk, Tonia Noyabrova, Maryna Stepanska, Kateryna Gornostai, Maryna Vroda and many others. In recent years, they have filmed many high-quality and original film stories that have competed for awards at class A international film festivals.
Various organizations and activities are helping to improve the situation towards the balance of gender equality. They aim to give women the faith in themselves that they often lack. In particular, such events are held by the Ukrainian Film Academy. One of the main driving forces behind its work is aimed to give women the possibility of succeeding in cinema and to destroy the existing stereotypes. Currently, the Film Academy has about 40% of women as its members, and the number continues to grow annually. In order to promote the idea of a woman in cinema, we conduct master classes with the involvement of producers, directors, actresses, casting directors and other industry professionals.
And digital technology, like the recent acceleration in the development of social media, has come to our aid, so that we can offer webinars, allowing us to spread our ideas throughout the world.
Odesa International Film Festival also does not avoid the gender issue, either. Discussions on this topic have been held within the framework of the Festival for several years. Two years ago, OIFF joined the HeForShe movement, and this year became a partner of the Women in Arts 2021 award ceremony, which celebrates prominent women in the cultural industry.
Such manifestations on the part of film organizations are truly helping to improve the situation at all levels of the industry. Now we are experiencing a certain revolution in society's attitude towards women and their rights. This question is repeatedly raised at different levels: at film festivals, at the film academy, in unions, at award ceremonies and, in fact, in film narratives. The world has finally realized that women are no less talented than men. Our challenge is to give them the opportunity to bring their talent to life.