Gender Equalityin the Film Industry

Wednesday November18, 2020
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Beijing


Baturu Festival & the Royal Norwegian Embassy inBeijing

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of theBeijing Declaration – a landmark document on women’s rights, the NorwegianEmbassy in Beijing, together with partner Baturu Festival, will host a forum on the topic Gender Equality in the Film Industry.

The purpose of the event is to share experiences between representatives fromthe film industry in Norway and China to address the common challenge ofunderrepresentation of women in the film industry. What is the status of femalefilmmakers in the Norwegian and Chinese film industries? What are thechallenges and possibilities? Why are women not as visible as men, and how canwomen’s opportunities for success be strengthened?


Bai Xue (China):

Bai Xue is a Chinese film director and screenwriter. Bai graduated from Beijing Film Academy (BFA) in 2007 and was admitted to the Academy’s MFA program in 2013.

Her first feature film The Crossing was completed in 2018 and premiered at Toronto Internationak Film Festival the same year. The Crossing won awards for Best Film and Best Actress at the 2nd Pingyao International Film Festival (China), and was a Generation selection at the 69th Berlinale. The film won Best Screenplay at the Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards at the Dublin International Film Festival 2019 (Ireland) and Most Promising Talent Award at the 14th Osaka Asian Film Festival (Japan). In March 2019, The Crossing was presented at the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival and nominated for the Best Director of Firebird Awards.

Aesha Ullah (Norge):

Aesha Ullah is the project manager for UP- a development program for underrepresented filmmakers in the Norwegian filmindustry. Ullah has worked for the Arts Council Norway as a senior advisor forthe Nordic project “Inclusive cultural life in the Nordic countries”,as well as focusing on challenges and developing methods for a more inclusivecultural life.Ullah has also workedwith communication, advertising and events for telecom company Telenor for anumber of years, and as a journalist, editorial and press consultant at NRK (NorwegianBroadcasting Corporation). Ullah has also been associated with the MelaFestival for the past 20 years, as a host, writer and contributor.

Description ofUP project:
UP is a development program for underrepresentedfilmmakers in Norwegian film industry. The first project period was for onlyfemale participants, and a strategic measure to improve the gender balance inthe Norwegian film industry.Thesecond project period, UP 2.0, is a strategic measure for increased diversity,broader recruitment, and inclusion of talent inside Norwegian film industry. UPis a cooperation between NFI, Talent Norge and Norsk Tipping.

The program is for 12 selected filmmakers(fiction and documentaries) and stretches over a period of 18 months. It is fordirectors, writers, and producers and is designed to focus on the creativeprocess and the filmmaker’s individual development. The longterm target is that80 % of the participants will produce a feature film or series within the threeyears after the end of participation in the program.

Maria Bock (Norge):

Maria Bock is a Norwegian actress and filmdirector, known for Baldguy (2011),Revenge (2015)and 22 July (2018).From 2017 – 2019 she led the women’s skills development at Talent Norge,supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. She has lead a pilot projectwith a focus on dropping out of young female talents early in a career. Bockhas investigated why women are not as visible as men – and what investments in femaletalents should include. She has been a board member of the Norwegian Actors’Association, in the Industry Council for Film, and deputy board director of theTromsø International Film Festival.