By Hogan Short
VANCOUVER – As the dialogue continues to evolve around ways to achieve equality in the film industry, we can simultaneously do another thing — celebrate. These conversations are pushing society towards seeing women in film now more than ever before. On March 6 to 11 at the Vancity Theatres, everyone can celebrate the work of women at the Vancouver International Women In Film Festival.
There are a wide array of fantastic short films, beautiful feature length films, and important films on the female experience in the film industry. Many of these empathetic films accomplish exactly what films do better than any art form. We can see through the eyes of others and learn more about another’s situation with empathy. Laura P. Jaramillo has created and directed one such film, Owning the Space. She told BeatRoute about her own experiences and why she felt so compelled to make this film at this time. “I went to a day of conferences at the Vancouver Film Festival. It was a fantastic opportunity to have an inside look at the film industry today. I was both inspired and touched. Out of the six panelists, only one was male. This clearly female dominant panel shared their wonderful insights and not so wonderful experiences in filmmaking. Just days after that, the unmasking of Harvey Weinstein was confirmation and validation of the powerlessness.
Jaramillo sees the ugly but she hopes that her film can help change the pattern. There is good to come from this and that has to happen. “It’s impossible to solve a problem when you don’t know the problem exists. Now is the time to continue to expose structural inequality and work on hard facts to steer the industry in the right direction. The public revelations from film Director Quentin Tarantino can illustrate these statements. He regretted not taking the women’s stories seriously enough.”
Women make up 17 per cent of the directors in Canada. Laura P. Jaramillo is a rarity and hopefully that will end soon through her efforts and other people like her. Go and check out something at the festival this year. Whether you want to support this movement or experience the world in another’s eyes. Either way you will see expertly crafted films that hopefully inspire both producers and future female filmmakers.
Vancouver International Women In Film Festival takes place March 6 to 11 at Vancity Theatres.