THE TIME OF WOMEN



Nowadays women’s cinema is a wide-spread notable phenomenon. Unlike 20 years ago, when we could name but a few women directors in different countries, today we observe a certain global phenomenon which prompts us to conclude the Women’s Cinema exists. For many years women directors have fought for recognition by using various means of self-endorsement through modern media and institutions to ascertain their own voice and author’s interpretation of cinema. They have used various forums to claim their rights in the mainstream, art-cinema, experimental cinema, art-house cinema, which is traditionally dominated by men. They created media hubbub which exploded the film scene and altered cultural festival politics in different countries. Festivals are the best option for women directors to present their works at global public venues.  Moreover, as Shohat and Stem noted in the Introduction to “Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality, and Transnational Media”, “The global nature of the colonizing process and the global reach of the contemporary media virtually oblige the cultural critic to move beyond the restrictive frameworks of monoculture and the individual nation-state”. In this situation those who make an active use of international institutions, festivals and whose works offer a cosmopolitan approach are more successful in promoting their films.
 
In many countries including the USA, China, Russia mainstream is still dominated by men. For instance, there are only 9 % of women in Hollywood. Today in the press and in social networks women directors argue that they are ready to turn out blockbusters, but they still have problems getting big budgets. An alternative is offered by women’s institutions for the support and promotion of projects especially in those countries where feminism historically thrived. They take an active part in determining the festival fate of movies because not every film reaches the international cinema distribution. Today festivals are sort of an alternative distribution shaping “cosmopolitan identity” or “cosmopolitan citizenship”. Festivals are a global public space attracting international audience and jury and providing a good opportunity for women directors to make their voices heard. Institutionalization and festival participation bear fruit. With each new movie women directors become stronger, the success of their films on the international festival arena helps them inscribe their names in the global film context and sometimes break into the international theatrical distribution. For the fourth time the Moscow International Film Festival presents a special women’s program which will introduce the main themes and problems of contemporary Women’s Cinema to the audience. They may be summed up as follows: sexuality, motherhood, sisterhood, violence, beauty, professionalization, media. The list of topics is much longer, but those mentioned here help understand the aspirations of women in the modern world.
 
Anzhelika Artyukh