“You can’t do this job just because you’re a man or because you’re a woman. You do it because you have talent.” said Lina Wertmüller, who died almost a year ago, aware of her position: in 1977 she was the first female candidate to be nominated for an Oscar as best director. And despite the tremendous contribution women have made to film history, only seven other women have been nominated for the award since.
This is the context of the exhibition titled Filmmak-Her, opened by the association 24FPS in the exhibition space CUBO – Contenitore Creativo in Parma, Italy. Curators Vanessa Mangiavacca, Maria Giorgia Pinotti and Michele Belmessieri talk about the aims of the project that combines film and illustration in a process of expressive meaning of contemporary reality. Filmmak-Her was arrested “Expresses the contribution that women have made and continue to make to the seventh art throughout the 125 year history of cinema, and draws attention to and encourages future study and research in a field that has not yet been widely studied and encourages multidisciplinary women’s studies”. The curators commissioned illustrators with very different styles and stories to tell the public about it “The Poetics of Women Directors and Their Careers in a Century of Political and Social Change Beginning with Two of the Greatest Revolutions of the Twentieth Century, the Revolution of Images and the Women’s Revolution”.
Open daily, the exhibition will host a series of events and encounters – workshops, conferences, film screenings – to explore the themes addressed, such as the life and work of the filmmakers. Sofia Coppola, Alice Rohrwacher, Elvira Notari, Greta Gerwig, Vera Chytilova and Julia Ducournau are just some of the 24 selected names that will be on display until November 16th. The filmmakers’ graphic representations capture the atmosphere of their films, their personalities and the particular interpretation that each of the nine illustrators brought to the project. The illustrations are complemented by inspired quotes, biographies and a variety of content that enrich and deepen the vision of the exhibition. Not just graphics, but words, like those by Barbara Hammer, illustrated for 24FPS and filmmaker by Maria Giulia Chistolini: “Trust in yourself, your intuition, your desires and your aspirations. Don’t question yourself too much. Put one foot in front of the other and walk steadily. No one will understand how you do the work, the art you make – so you don’t have to look for audience approval or reviews.”
Speaking to the illustrators, it is clear that they share a common sense of gratitude towards the women they portray and the organizers of the exhibition, because the experience allowed them to explore and discover previously under-explored cultural dimensions and to express their synthesis bring in contemporary reality. Laura Fusco, for example, says that before this project she never thought about women’s participation in the world of filmmaking: “Actually, I would have had trouble naming more than one filmmaker. Opening up to a new perspective, realizing how many and what kind of women are out there working in a field that’s almost entirely male occupied made me proud and gave me a little bit of hope back.”
In the hope that the exhibition will receive the international attention it deserves, we would like to thank the association 24FPS, which protects this project on the role of strong women in film. Enjoy the show!
All images courtesy of 24FPS
Illustrations by: Elenia Beretta, Isabella Bersellini, ALESSIA E BRUNO (Alessia Bevilacqua), Mara Cerri, Maria Giulia Chistolini, Laura Fusco, Daniela Goffredo, Andy McFly (Simona Iamonte) and Monica Lasagni
Curated by Michele Belmessieri, Vanessa Mangiavacca, M. Giorgia Pinotti
With the participation of
Casa delle donne Parma, Women in Film, Television and Media Italy, Scintille Bookclub, Centro Cinema Lino Ventura, Parma 360° – Circuito Off, Fondazione Matteo Bagnaresi Onlus.