Thank you all for joining us here at the Norwegian Embassy for the event tonight about Gender Equality and female representation in the film industry.
The event tonight is co-organized between the Embassy and our partner Baturu International Culture Festival. The Embassy has cooperated with Baturu –formerly known as China Women’s Film Festival, for a number of years and on a variety of projects. We are happy about our solid cooperation and relationship, something that we highly value. We applaud you for having, and keeping, a strong focus on women’s rights throughout the years– and especially for highlighting women and female voices in creative industries and art! Thank you to the founder Li Dan, and to Tanya, for your efforts and dedicated work.
Gender equality is a cross-cutting issue for all activities of the Embassy, and it is important in our cultural work, in what we do to promote business and trade, in development work and for human rights and political issues.
Art and culture are expressions that build society. In a world where the public sphere is becoming increasingly fragmented, art and culture shape and strengthen the societal structure around us.
Films, in particular, have the potential to touch people in ways that media and politics cannot, and they can shed new lights on topics – and make us see things from a different perspective than we normally would.
We live in societies that are diverse and multicultural – in terms on ethnicity, culture, social class, sexual orientation, gender identity and age. And films reflect this fact. Lack of insight into each other’s point of view leads to polarization and reinforces what separates us.
Having female voices present in the film industry – in any industry, is important not only for gender equality’s sake – but because variation leads to new thinking, innovation and creativity. Better content – and better films!
Tonight we are going to listen to two keynote speakers from Norway and two from China. First Aesha Ullah, project manager for the Norwegian Film Institute’s UP project and then Maria Bock – Norwegian actress and director. Director Bai Xue cannot be with us tonight, but we are happy and honoured to have Wang Yanyun, an independent artist, producer and director, as well as Lin Meiru – scriptwriter for the film “The Crossing”.
We are looking forward to the exchanges and discussion tonight – and hope you will all enjoy yourselves. Thank you!