Festival director of DOK Leipzig Leena Pasanen regrets the lack of female directors in the German competition for long documentaries. She wants to do something about it, read this from the opening of the festival monday night:
“Women in film business have been in the headlines over the last weeks, but once again not for the reasons they should be there, as celebrated directors.
Unfortunately, our news are not good either. In the German competition for long films, we only have one female director as a co-director. After a strong year in 2016, we are again in this situation.
We have checked our statistics and we can see, that every second or third year, there is a lack of female directors in German competition for long documentaries. This is the case even when the number of submitted films and the selection criteria stay the same. What is wrong?
It would be easy to blame others, say that we are just the receiving end, and the problem is in funding and production. There surely are structural issues, and we need a proper research to look into the problem. But it is also our duty as one of the leading festivals to push for the change. For the film selection of 2018 and 2019 the head of the selection committee Ralph Eue and I have decided to put a quota in our German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film for female filmmakers. I’m well aware that there will be strong voices against this quota, also from women filmmakers, but I can only say, sometimes you need strong decisions to break the tradition and push for a change. We cannot have another year, without female voices in German competition.”