Re: judges' statement - gender representation in exp film

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Jun 24 2006 - 12:08:54 PDT

I think Freds posting hits the nail on the head in a
way, because the thing that struck me about the judges
statement was how little information there was about
what had happened. Perhaps even the people writing it
weren't sure what had happened. Fred suggests that it
might be a criticism of Patrick Friel, but certainly
the judges posting doesn't tell us this.

Fred also says that it could relate to the actual
number of films submitted by women and this is what I
wondered myself when I read it.

As you know I'm involved in the Exp24 thing and we
have just started to recieve the first few
submissions. We did notice that non of the DVD's we
have so far received were from women, which was
interesting. However I expect that will change over
time and we have not had enough submissions to make a
realistic sample yet. (It could be like flipping the
coins as Fred again mentions)

The bottom line however is that we just don't know
what could have happened because the statement gives
us no indication of this whatsoever. I mean personally
I have no idea of how the system of selection even
works at onion city. *shrug*

But whatever has happened surely it is interesting?



--- Fred Camper <email suppressed> wrote:

> With all due respect to the judges, I would like to
> suggest that their
> statement, even if sent to just Patrick Friel alone,
> is sadly mistaken
> and deeply misinformed.
> First, in his decade at Chicago Filmmakers, Friel
> has been extremely
> open to work by women. If he has a gender bias,
> which I'd suspect if it
> exists at all is very slight, it would be in favor
> of woman's work both
> on principle and in terms of an interest in the
> kinds of subjects and
> styles that are more often found in work by by women
> filmmakers.
> He has been selecting films for Onion City for some
> years now, and
> programming at Chicago Filmmakers for longer.
> Singling out one festival
> seems like a serious mistake.
> People who would do so should first make a study of
> random numbers. For
> example, flip a coin 100 times and write down the
> results. Somewhere in
> there will be a run of ten that results are mostly
> "heads." Assuming
> that gender is not a factor in his selection, which
> I believe, and that
> his selections are not "random" either, which I
> certainly believe, it
> will come to pass that one year by simple randomness
> most of the best
> films submitted are by one gender or the other.
> Perhaps that was this
> year, and he did his usual fine job of selecting the
> best.
> If one wanted to make a case for gender bias in
> Onion City, one would
> have to start by examining the percentage of films
> by males and females
> submitted each year versus the percentage shown, and
> look at the pattern
> over many years.
> Some years ago in Chicago the African American
> community complained that
> there were only some 12 percent works by African
> Americans included in a
> juried survey exhibit of local artists, whereas
> Chicago is almost 40
> per cent African American. But it turned out that of
> the artists
> submitting, only 12 per cent were African American.
> The jury's selection
> had perfectly matched the submissions. The ruckus
> continued and as a
> result, that was the last year that exhibit was ever
> mounted. A
> tradition many decades old ended there.
> Even if a higher percentage of women submitted this
> year than the
> percentage shown, that's only one year.
> These complaints started almost four decades ago
> when indeed there was a
> gender bias among many gallery owners in the art
> world, museum curators,
> and perhaps film programmers too. I don't think that
> is the case today.
> Indeed, just running through the better known film
> and video programmers
> I can think of, a pretty high percentage of them are
> women themselves,
> which makes this sort of gripe seem increasingly out
> of place.
> Fred Camper
> Chicago
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.