All the political systems in the world need to be revised and improved for ensuring gender equality and for ending the male domination in the world of cinema, reads the keynote paper presented at the 4th Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema.
The two-day conference, organised by Rainbow Film Society in association with Dhaka University’s women and gender studies department as an ancillary programme of the ongoing 16th Dhaka International Film Festival, was inaugurated by the state minister for information ministry Tarana Halim at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka on Saturday.
State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam was also present at the event participated by filmmakers, actors and critics from different countries of the world.
Alin Tasciyan, president of International Federation of Film Critics known as FIPRESCI, in her keynote paper titled ‘How to sustain gender equality in cinema’ urges to treat female and male filmmakers equally.
‘When the rules, regulations and often bad habits of the film industry are changed so as not to favour men, worship men and overrate their films then scales of justice will be balanced,’ Alin’s paper reads.
We need to build a system in which Harvey Weinstein cannot dare to abuse Salma Hayek for ‘excellent projects like Frida’, Alin suggests, adding that a system needs to be built in which male festival directors take into consideration that they might be overrating men’s films.
‘We need to create awareness among male intellectuals to focus on gender studies and be sensitive to gender issues,’ the keynote paper reads.
Giving examples of poor representations of women in cinemas around the world, the keynote paper also suggests the media give equal space to both sexes and show respect to women body so as not provoke objectification.
American actor and also film promoter Gary Springer, Indian filmmaker Bijaya Jena discussed on the paper presided over by Dhaka University’s mass communication and journalism department professor Gitiara Nasreen.
Two more papers were presented on the opening day. Tajik filmmaker Dr Sharofat M Arabova and Indian actress Aparajita Ghosh, respectively presented papers titled ‘The pioneering women-filmmakers in early Central Asian cinema’ and ‘Bengal could show the way to lessen gender imbalance in Indian film industry.’
On the closing day, Indian filmmaker Debjani Halder, Iranian cinematic researcher Nazamin Kaynejad and film educator from USA, Sydney Levine will respectively present papers titled ‘Deconstructing motherhood in Indian Cinema: A critical feminist discourse and ‘Women in avant-garde Cinema’ and ‘The perception of South Asian women by western women through cinema’ today at the same venue.
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