The Lithuanian Film Centre (LFC) has become a patron of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA). With this new partnership, the LFC supports both the presence of its local members in the network and the initiatives organised by the EWA in Lithuania.
This collaboration should lead to more activities that empower and enhance female presence in the Lithuanian industry, including panel discussions, career-boosting mentoring programmes, and other events that aim to promote the gender-equality agenda in the local and European audiovisual sector. It should be noted that the LFC is the only institution in Eastern Europe that supports the EWA, paving the way for future collaborations in the region.
Regarding the backing that the network will receive, Tamara Tatishvili, strategy and partnership manager at EWA, mentioned: “In this disrupted year of 2020, our industry continuously uses phrases such as ‘solidarity’, ‘standing together’ and others that highlight the importance of cooperation against all odds. The fact that the Lithuanian Film Centre is committed to supporting EWA’s activities during 2021 is a sign of true commitment to our membership. It is a signal to us, a European professional network, that we have not been forgotten, that there’s still a lot to be achieved in the gender-equality agenda and that Lithuanian policymakers care about this. In short, it is a practical act of solidarity. We look forward to enhanced cooperation with our Lithuanian colleagues and taking action to bring about much-needed improvements in the context of the equality agenda.”
On behalf of the LFC, Irma Šimanskytė, acting director, stated: “The EWA’s initiatives are crucial for the promotion of gender equality in the European audiovisual sector. We are looking forward to a permanent partnership with this professional network, and we do hope that every instance of our support will contribute to establishing the gender balance in the film industry.”
Currently, the EWA has three Lithuanian members: producer Živilė Gallego (Fralita Films), who joined after the EWA organised its first activities in Vilnius in 2016; producer Marija Razgutė (M-Films); and writer-director Lina Vonsavičiūtė (Wide Wings). The network aims to expand its creative community and welcome more Lithuanian professionals in the near future, in order to share their experiences and provide mutual support.
Among the initiatives organised by the EWA are the first pan-European research study on female directors, the Multiple Revenue Stream Training programme that was developed from 2015-2017, a Scriptwriters’ Residency (which has been active since 2016, only being interrupted due to the pandemic), and a number of Development Awards handed out in partnership with industry events including WEMW, DOK Leipzig and Fest Forward Belgrade, with many of the winning projects later premiering at leading festivals. Furthermore, EWA’s Mentoring Programme for emerging producers is running for the third year in a row, while a series of online discussions, which even started before the lockdown period, are being organised and deal with important film-industry topics.