Quota for Female Directors in German Competition
During last year’s festival opening, festival director Leena Pasanen announced the introduction of a quota for female directors in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film. Pasanen and programmer Ralph Eue have now arrived at the ultimate form this quota is to take. Valid for an initial period of two years, the quota will be derived from the submission ratio between male and female directors whose films are considered for the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film. In the past years, approximately 40% of these films came from women, while roughly 60% were from men. “That is why we are initially setting the quota at 40/60, with the aim and expectation of reaching a totally balanced gender ratio in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film, as well as in our film programme as a whole,” as Pasanen commented.
The impetus for the introduction of the quota in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film was the radical disparity between male and female directors last year. In 2017, only a single woman was represented as a co-director in the section, alongside ten male directors.
“We are introducing a quota regarding our film programme in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film and we see that as a start. Fundamentally, we need female voices to be constantly represented in all of our sections of course. For us, that means that we are keeping a sharp eye on reaching a balanced gender mix in our other sections as well, continually evaluating our work and placing even more emphasis on the subject of diversity on the whole,” explained Pasanen.
In 2018, the membership of the festival’s Selection Committee is also predominantly female, featuring four women and three men. Starting this year, films will be presented to them in the first round of viewing as anonymous as possible – this means that committee members will initially receive films labelled only with a reference number, with no further information regarding the team. The film experts will view all of the submitted films for the festival before finally deciding together with festival director Leena Pasanen which films are to be shown in the Official Selection, and by extension in the festival’s competition sections. In addition, DOK Leipzig also pays particular attention to achieving a balanced presence of both men and women in the composition of its juries and the choice of its festival advisors.
At DOK Industry, the festival has already embraced measures to support female filmmakers in the development of documentary films. For instance, two awards are presented to female filmmakers in the scope of the DOK Co-Pro Market.
Programmer Ralph Eue summed up the festival’s efforts thusly: “We want to be able to have a film selection in which societal conditions and above all processes are represented. The introduction of a quota is one instrument to achieve this.”
Read more on the quota in our press release