International Feature Film Competition for Women Directors

International Feature Film Competition for Women Directors

Intensive and brave –
the women directors of the 2011 feature film competition are not afraid of tackling issues laden with conflict.

The debate has taken off again, that much can be said. The public interest, where women play active roles in making decisions in politics, business and culture, has increased, yet the conclusions are very varied and give no cause for celebration, as can be seen from the debate in Germany about a quota system for women.

In the field of film there also seems to be a growing sense of indignation over the glaring inequalities of job distribution in the motion picture production industry. Campaigns such as »You Cannes not be serious« as a reaction to the selection of competition films at Cannes 2010, in which – not for the first time – there was not a single film by a women director, or the »Cinema of Women« special edition of the Zeit magazine for the Berlinale 2011, bring some sobering statistics to a wider public. The proportion of women working in the film business, for example in the cinema distribution of their films or in awarding prizes at the large festivals, lies below 10%. The women‘s film festivals of this world, from Seoul to Dortmund, have long been appalled by this state of affairs and are striving to give more prominence to the film works of women.

The International Feature Film Competition for Women Directors is presenting eight new feature films in Dortmund covering part of the spectrum of the work of women filmmakers. The prize money of 25,000 Euro will for the first time be shared between the director (15,000 Euro) and the German distributor (10,000 Euro) so that the cinema distribution of these top-flight films will be promoted in Germany. Many of the films selected would also not be out of place in the NOW WHAT focus, since the directors take on controversial issues and set out their positions. They reveal specific grievances, describe the repercussions of political injustice on private lives or offer formal and aesthetically provocative analyses of the cohabitation of the sexes in the new millenium.
_Stefanie Görtz


Maren Kroymann

Maren Kroymann is one of the most diverse artists in the German entertainment landscape. She became wellknown nationwide at the beginning of the 80s with Oh Gott, Herr Pfarrer. From 1993 to 1997, she was the first and only woman in German television to make her own satire programme, Nachtschwester Kroymann. Since then, she has worked on numerous film and television productions, most recently in Doris Dörrie‘s series Klimawechsel. In the course of her career, Maren Kroymann has continually hit out against conventional role clichées. In 2000, she was awarded the Berliner Frauenpreis (Berlin Women‘s Award) for her feminist cabaret. Maren Kroymann also works as a narrator and since 2000 has been on tour with the programme Gebrauchte Lieder. The festival is presenting her artistic work with the portrait Weder glatt noch gefällig [Independent-minded Actresses].

Claudia Landsberger

Claudia Landsberger from the Netherlands is one of the most important protagonists in the European film branch. She works in the areas of production, development, marketing and communication for film production companies all across Europe, where she has set the standards on matters of content and structure: she sat on many film grant committees and curated programmes for film festivals. Since 1995, she has worked at the Eye International
Institute, where she is responsible for the worldwide promotion of Dutch film productions. In 1997, she was cofounder, and for 12 years president of the European Film Promotion (EFP) – the umbrella organisation of European film marketing – of which she is now vice-president. In November 2010, she was awarded for her lifetime work with the Industry Award at the European Film Festival in Seville.

Melissa Silverstein

American born Melissa Silverstein is a marketing consultant, writer and journalist, and writes one of the most influential blogs about film women: In 2010 she was one of the ten most followed film critics on Twitter, according to Flavorwire. She sits on the boards of Women’s Media Center and Women, Action & Media (WAM!), and is also a member of NY Women in Film and TV. She designs and produces the Athena Film Festival in New York City, which focused in February 2011 on the situation of women in executive positions. She designed high-profile educational campaigns such as the Pro Choice Public Education Project. Melissa Silverstein was chief of staff to the Ms. Foundation for Women and founder and project manager of the White House Project.


Athina Rachel Tsangari

Feature Film

»I made a film about four people who happen to be at the same place for a short period of […]

Black Ocean

Marion Hänsel

BE / DE / FR

»I want to make a film as fragile as the breath of a child, but charged with an ever-present latent […]

Brownian Movement

Nanouk Leopold

NL / DE / BE

Brownian Motion refers to the aimless movement of particles in fluids and gasses, a consequence of collisions between atoms and […]

Even the Rain

Icíar Bollaín

ES / FR / MX

Sebastián is an idealistic and slightly naive director who is planning to make a film about Christoph Columbus, debunking the […]

Heading West

Nicole van Kilsdonk


A year in the life of a resident of a European city. A year in the life of a single […]

The Fly in the Ashes

Gabriela David


The two young women Nancy and Pato leave their village in the northwest of Argentina in the belief that they […]

The House

Zuzana Liová


Imrich has a present for his youngest daughter Eva: Almost singlehandedly he is building a house for her, right next […]

The White Space

Francesca Bertini (Artist), Francesca Comencini


»Since adolescence I have had to (…) defend the right of women not to have children. And this was mainly […]