ProPro – the Producers Programme for Women
- empowerment of female film producers by assisting them in developing their film projects, careers, and business strategies
- an increase in the number of female decision-makers in production
In general, women are underrepresented in the Austrian film industry. Only a quarter of all film directors and screenwriters are women (even though women account for around 40% of film school graduates). In film production, the share of women is even lower. The few women who own a film production company are increasingly likely to be in the low-budget sector – which is frequently characterized by self-exploitation. What all women producers lack is the opportunity to exchange experience and know-how with an older generation of female film producers, which is non-existent in Austria.
To remedy this gender imbalance in film production, 2015 saw the Austrian Film Institute initiate “ProPro – the Producers Programme for Women”, a one-week workshop, and an additional mentoring-phase to assist Austrian women film producers in the development of their careers, company strategies, and film projects. The objective is to group together experienced Austrian women film producers with even more experienced, international female mentors, therewith ensuring know-how transfer, professionalization, and networking at the highest possible level. The programme consists of different modules:
- hands-on support for concrete film projects: development, financing, exploitation
- film production company-specific issues
- company strategy: development of a business plan for the next five years
- coaching sessions on positioning, leadership skills, mission statements, negotiating techniques, career development, and strategies for success
- networking events with key domestic and international stakeholders
- case studies, panel discussions, and lectures on sector-specific issues
The participating experts and mentors are high-level Austrian and international female film industry insiders.
This programme is accompanied by a public programme consisting of inputs by, discussions with, and testimonies of international experts to enable further female players in the Austrian film industry to exchange and network with possible role models while also gathering inspiration.
- 18–24 participants annually in the workshop and the mentoring programme
EUR 70,000 per year
The first edition of ProPro (2015) was a resounding success, according to feedback from the participants – mentors as well as mentees.
The participating Austrian female film producers felt empowered and strengthened in their personal professional career development, and they became a mutually supportive group in which contacts were maintained (see: https://propro.filminstitut.at/programme/feedback-of-2015-participants/)
The resonance provided by the international female mentors was similarly enthusiastic, with many wanting to establish such a programme in their home countries, as well. This led to the idea to expand the programme into an international initiative together with partner countries and institutions. To this end, talks are currently underway with representatives of possible partner institutions in Sweden, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, and Croatia.