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︎ Double Discrimination Faced by Roma Discussed at European Women’s Audio Visual Network


5.3.2023

Left to right: Fatih Abay (Diversity and Inclusion – European Film Academy, Lisa Smith Producer, Roma Trial, Edel Brosnan Director of Strategy – EWA, Melanie Hoyes – Head of Inclusion British Film Institute

EWA Network turned 10 years in 2023 and celebrated with members, friends and people aiming for change at the Berlinale. AKE DIKHEA’s Co-curator Lisa Smith was invited to take part in one of their panel discussions centred on double discrimination – and additional barriers faced by women of colour, LGBTQI women, disabled women, older women, and women from lower-income backgrounds.

Edel Brosnan moderated the panel with: Melanie Hoyes, Head of Inclusion at the British Film Institute (BFI) and Fatih Abay, Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Researcher in Migration and Racism at the European Film Academy).

Despite the title of the panel, there was widespread agreement that women from marginalised groups often faced three, four or more layers of disadvantage. Melanie Hoyes outlined the impact of data collection and monitoring on inclusion and diversity in British film, and pointed out that while it’s a necessary first step, wider cultural change is needed. Fatih Abay identified specific barriers, such as documented incidents of misogyny in film schools, and Lisa Smith summarised experiences of filmmakers from a Roma background, whose stories are all too often appropriated by creatives from more privileged backgrounds. The panel agreed that the disability rights’ adage ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ was a useful watch word for improving representation, on and off screen. On a positive note, the panel acknowledged that audiences are increasingly open to audio-visual content from diverse voices. Finally, the importance of ‘being the change you want to see’ was highlighted: for example by advertising roles more openly and aiming to hire more inclusively on our individual productions.

You can read more about the full event in detail here: EWA Network celebrates its 10th anniversary with a poignant programme at the Berlinale – EWA Women