19th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
3-12 March 2017
MARKET TALKS 11/3
A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS
The “Market Talks” section of the Doc Market of the 19th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival concluded on Saturday, March 11th 2017, at the “Room with a view” Café of the Olympion Complex, as part of the 19th TDF. This is a successful discussions event in which distinguished professionals in the field of cinema offer useful info and practical tips to the Greek and foreign documentary filmmakers who attend this year’s edition.
Main speakers of this event were Avra Georgiou (director) and Depy Vrettou (commissioning editor) on behalf of WIFT Greece / Women in Film & Television, which supports and promotes the rights of women directors in cinema and television.
Depy Vrettou talked about the history of the WIFT organisation, which began from Los Angeles in 1972, and more specifically from a journalist of The Hollywood Reporter, whose aim was to gather together women working in Hollywood so that they would speak about their rights. Afterwards, the organization expanded all over the USA, and one of the most powerful unions is the one in New York. In the year 2000, WIFT went to the UK, in 2007 in Toronto, Canada, and in 2017 in Greece, as well.
For her part, Avra Georgiou noted that there are WIFT chapters all over the world while she wished, though, this kind of unions weren’t necessary. However, she said, women’s rights are often left aside in our times and there is an urgent need to tackle this issue. “We need you, the power from all of you”, added Avra Georgiou, addressing a call for participation in the first meeting of WIFT Greece which will take place on April 2nd in Athens. “We need more ideas, more energy for this union”, the director added.
Afterwards, Depy Vrettou noted that WIFT’s objective is to promote women’s films and create a database of women filmmakers. There is a global issue regarding the funding of women filmmakers, and there are plans for further expansion of the organisation to Africa and India, where the huge Bollywood industry is thriving, but where there are also many unresolved issues concerning women’s rights. The plan for Greece is to expand to other cities other than Athens, in order to create a network that will fight for women’s rights.
Although WIFT is a women’s union, added Avra Georgiou, men are also welcome and can become WIFT Friends. “It is important because we need to promote women’s films’ networking and get to know each other, realise how many women are actually working in the field, and acquire more jobs and better pay. In Canada, Sweden and Iceland, they are particularly active on this issue and we need to raise the same way of thinking in Greece as well. We aim to be present in festivals all over the world, to collect recent productions and make our presence more vivid” she stressed.
Élise Jalladeau, General Director of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, was welcomed to the event by Depy Vrettou, and the two of them commented on the issue of creating a special thematic for women filmmakers at the festival, with Élise Jalladeau noting that the festival’s program selection team should have a discussion about this issue.
For her part, Avra Georgiou stressed that the union doesn’t only concern women directors, since there are many other women in various different fields of the film industry who don’t have the same rights or the same salaries as their men counterparts and it is very important that those rights are safeguarded too.
WIFT Greece is open to all women professionals working in the audiovisual sector, but also to women writers, journalists and critics, as long as they have a log entry on the Internet Movie DataBase or four years of working experience in their respective field. The website www.wift.gr will be available shortly, while for now there is a page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WIFT-GR-1697929103781783/) and on Twitter (@WIFTGREECE).