Enhancing gender equality in the Brazilian audiovisual sector
Find out more about this innovative practice
In 2013, the Secretariat of Audiovisual Activities of the Ministry of Culture and the Secretariat of Women’s Policies of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil launched the “Carmen Santos Award – Cinema by Women” to meet civil society’s demands for greater recognition of gender equality in public policies and implement the 2013-2015 National Plan of Women’s Policies.
The Carmen Santos Award aims at giving increased visibility to the cinematographic work of women’s directors and technicians, in order to promote equal opportunities among men and women in the Brazilian audiovisual sector. With this program, short and medium-length films directed by women and focused on women are awarded every year. The competing films can be either fiction, documentary or animations focusing on equality between women and men and the civic rights of women, and addressing the diversity of women in rural and urban settings. A particular interest is being paid to indigenous women, black women and women from vulnerable groups.
Out of 417 works submitted from all over Brazil, ten short films and six medium-length films were awarded with around 13,500 USD and 26,500 USD respectively.
At the same time, Brazilian civil society is mobilizing to enhance women’s contribution to the audiovisual industry and achieve a better representation of and opportunities for women as creators and producers of cultural products.
Premised on the conviction that female narratives are under-represented, the Mulheres no Audiovisual’s NGO was created to support the creation, production and distribution of critical artistic and audiovisual content made by women. To this end, the association launched an interactive and collaborative digital platform. Inspired by Netflix, the platform provides video streaming services, gathering not only women's audiovisual productions, but also relevant information on the history of women in cinema and promoting the participation of new female filmmakers in national productions.
These two initiatives specifically acknowledge and promote women’s contributions to cultural life, strongly supporting the implementation of Goal 4 of the Convention. SDG 5 on women’s empowerment is also directly addressed by ensuring effective visibility and equal opportunities for women in the audiovisual sector (Targets 5.C and 5.5).
The Carmen Santos notice call had the goal of encouraging and giving visibility to the cinematographic output made by women and to recognize the work of directors and technicians in the Brazilian audiovisual universe as a way of promoting equal opportunities among men and women.
The Carmen Santos Call – Cinema by Women 2013 was an institutional action with national scope. Launched in 2013, this call introduced the gender theme in the agenda of the Ministry of Culture, as it is geared toward the production of short and medium-length films focused on women. The competing movies could be either fiction, documentary or animation features, but the themes had to deal with the contruction of equality between women and men, the rights of women and civic rights, taking into account the diversity of women in the rural and urban settings, so as to include indigenous women, black women and women from other traditional peoples and communities. Out of 417 submitted works from all over the country, tem short films were contemplated with 13,306.92 USD each, and six medium-length films with 26,613.84 USD each.
To meet the demand of the civil society for empowerment of transversal public policies geared toward women based on the National Plan of Women’s Policies of 2013-2015. The Agencies in charge of the Carmen Santos Call were the Secretariat of Audiovisual of the Ministry of Culture and the Secretariat of Women’s Policies of the Presidency of the Republic.
The total amount of resources allocated for the implementation of the policy was of 295,709.30 USD.