Policy Orientation towards Gender Parity in Audio-visual Activities
Since its establishment in 2007, the Croatian Audio-visual Centre as the main national film agency, was oriented towards a proactive gender policy that ensured that gender balance became the aim not only in terms of allocation of public funding, but also in terms of representation in the Centre decision-making bodies.
The shift in the orientation towards greater gender parity in the public funding of audio-visual activities can be observed since 2008 when the Croatian Audio-visual Centre was founded. It is evident mainly, but not entirely through the results of state support for first-time directors introduced in 2008. The stronger orientation towards gender equality policy is visible through monitoring of the work by female directors, writers and producers that is evident in publications of brochures such as ‘Cinderellas, Queens and Godmothers in Croatian Film’ and ‘Women in Croatian Film’.
The Croatian Audio-visual Centre is also a key partner to the European Women’s Audio-visual (EWA) Network, on facilitating networking opportunities at major European festivals and as one of 7 partner organisations that prepared a study: “Where are the female directors in European films?”, that was released in two stages – at the Venice Film Festival in September 2015 and at the Berlinale in February 2016.
It is expected that greater gender parity will slowly be achieved through the introduction of the gender policy of the HAVC agency. Nevertheless, it has to be stressed that the overall pattern still shows very large fluctuations and years with no feature film production funding allocated to female directors. However, in the eight-year period since the establishment of the Croatian Audio-visual Centre (2008-2015) the average amounts to 16% of female directors, which is in line with the European average. This data compares rather favourably with 4% of female feature film directors in the period from 1991 to 2008.
The data provided in yearly reports as well as in the brochure ‘Women in Croatian Film 2015/2016’ shows an ameliorated situation in the Croatian audio-visual industry towards greater gender equality in film. However, there is still greater need for new policies and measures in order to increase gender equality not only in terms of allocation of public funding, but more importantly, in terms of representation in the Centre decision-making bodies.