Oscar winner gives a talk at FUNGLODE
Cathy Schulman talks at FUNGLODE in Santo Domingo
(Santo Domingo, October 28th 2013) – The renowned American producer Cathy Schulman, winner of an Oscar for her movie Crash, participated in a discussion this Monday in the auditorium of the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), where the main topic was the work still to be done for women in cinema. She explained how the organization she leads, “Women in Film,” is invested in promoting gender equality in the film industry through a series of academic programs, scholarships and support forums it runs for women in the film industry.
The American producer, who came to the country with other directors from the non-profit organization “Women in Film,” reported the findings of their recent survey of about 1,000 female filmmakers. The survey found that the main reason they end up not completing a project is a lack of financing. As a result, forums with business people will be held in New York and Los Angeles to orient these up-and-coming artists. She said it was worrying that only 18% of high-level positions in international filmmaking are held by women. “Producers, directors, directors of photography, script writers and executive producers are mainly men and we have to see why this is happening,” she added.
Schulman, who has also been recognized for her work as president of Mandalay Pictures and her participation in producing other films such as: Is not She Great, Sidewalks of New York, Employee of the Month, The Illusionist and Darfur Now urged young filmmakers not to “fall in love with stories that do not work, because there are a thousand stories to tell. We identify films which give us something to talk about and enable the actors to develop.”
Asked about her perception of when a movie is good, Schulman said that at first, the film has to be profitable (her film Crash was made with $7 million and earned about $60 million). It must also be a film that moves the audience to comment, must somehow influence society and finally, it must have the support of the critics.
Schulman, a graduate of Yale University, also pointed to the importance of educating filmmakers and clarified that the institution is not at all feminist. “Men are welcome to our programs, the only condition is that they must include women in their productions.”
The event, organized by the Women’s Association of Dominican Republic Cinema (AMUCINE) , the General Directorate of Cinema (DGCINE) and the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival (FCGD), also hosted film students, journalists, the media and a significant number of people connected to the local and international film industry.