Nordic Film Festival focuses on female representation
By Shen Li
Female representation is being highlighted at the Nordic Film Festival, which kicked off last Friday at Beijing's UCCA. With the theme "Framing Females," the event features 20 films showcasing the many facets of women and sisterhood, plus a series of talks with filmmakers.
Four out of five Nordic countries are in the top five globally when it comes to gender equality. That's according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Nordic Film Festival currently being held in Beijing is sending out a message of girl power to an industry dominated by men.
From a young Danish woman's rise to power to two women's struggle in the Stockholm underworld to an unlikely Norwegian volleyball team of old ladies preparing for the match of their lives. The festival offers a panoramic vision of women of all ages and social positions.
The 20 films, including features, documentaries, and short films, allow audiences to experience various aspects of what it's like to hold up half the sky.
Filmmakers attending the opening ceremony shared their enthusiasm for bringing female representation to the male-dominated industry.
"I'm so happy and honored to be here. I like 798, the whole space is amazing. It's great to show this film here in Beijing. I just hope Chinese subtitles are good so people get the sense of the film," said Tora Mkandawire Martens, director of the documentary "Martha & Niki" shared with CGTN.
Meanwhile, Elsa Maria Jakobsdottir, director of "Atelier" from Iceland, said being a female director in the film industry is exciting as changes are happening.
"It's especially exciting for women in this industry, in filmmaking. There's a lot going on for the last two years or so, especially with the Me Too movement, it has changed the approach in some ways," said Jakobsdottir.
Jeppe Gjervig Gram is a screenwriter from Denmark who's well known for TV series such as Borgen and Follow the Money. She said that portraying female protagonists is no different from depicting male ones. Sometimes, though, female characters are more interesting and create more dramatic tension.
"I think basically it's just about not differentiating and tell the good stories. For the last two years there have been more female representations but a lot of them tend to be a little younger than the main characters, and I think that's crazy because for me it's interesting to portray mature or even older women, I think they can be just a wonderful protagonist, characters," he added.
The event, including both screenings and talks, is hosted by the Danish Cultural Center in collaboration with the Nordic embassies and the UCCA.