GÖTEBORG 2023 Göteborg Industry
I professionisti dell’industria partecipano al talk “Embracing Talent Sustainability for Success” a Göteborg
di Marta Bałaga
- Durante il seminario organizzato da Nostradamus x impACT, l’analista dei media Johanna Koljonen ha discusso con i partecipanti dei modi per attirare i giovani talenti
Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.
While the tenth annual Nostradamus Report – revolving around the future of the audiovisual industries – will be released during the upcoming Cannes Marché du Film, its author, media analyst Johanna Koljonen, already grilled her guests on “Embracing Talent Sustainability for Success” at the Göteborg Film Festival.
“Historically, working in film has been very attractive, but I don’t think this residual glamour or past glory is enough to attract young talent. Not if you have to be an intern without a salary, endure bullying and racist microaggressions, and work endless hours in a thankless job, still unable to tell stories that are important to you,” she observed. A move towards a more diverse industry is exactly what’s needed. “Each of us needs to do something. Each of us has to do something.”
While Fatih Abay, diversity and inclusion officer for the European Film Academy, promised that the organisation is currently “rebranding itself” and looking for more diverse members, the work is far from complete. “I wouldn’t say the problem is solving itself,” he said, pointing out the need for data and access to the industry, as film funders still prefer to work with people they know. “It’s not just about a young generation; there are many marginalised filmmakers,” he added, also encouraging the audience to share their knowledge with others. “Film institutes, film industries and festivals should collaborate more in order to tackle these issues.”
As noted by Neil Peplow, director and CEO of the London Film School, in order for things to change, you have to start early. “[According to a survey,] 36% of children as young as seven based their career choices on the people they knew. 45% stated that film, television and radio were their biggest influences. Depressingly, gender stereotypes also defined career expectations. It’s crucial to establish these clear signals early on,” he said, joining online.
To Mette Damgaard-Sørensen, of New Danish Screen – Danish Film Institute, flexibility is also key: “We are always talking about how budgets are rising and everything is becoming expensive. But why not look at a project and see how it can fit it into this economy?” she observed. “My message to the funders would be that, in a world that is changing rapidly, we need structures that can change.”
Although Peplow argued that instead of focusing on initiatives, people should work on establishing “sustainable, long-term frameworks”, Damgaard-Sørensen added: “What initiatives do is they send a signal. There are a lot of talents who, when they look at national film institutes or film funds, don’t see a door open for them. We are all white women in the midst of the menopause – that’s what they see when they come to mama. But we are trying to find out what’s important to them. It’s about being curious about the new generation.”
According to Tamara Tatishvili (MEDICI head of training, FOCAL), there should be a constant search for talent and access to leadership positions. “Someone mentioned this ‘ideal world, where everything is sustainable and creativity is booming’. I am not necessarily a believer in that, because the moment we say we have achieved something and all schemes are working, we are not discovering new talent.”
The participants also commented on a possible tension between new and established filmmakers, all applying for the same funding. “The average director used to be male, middle-class and white. And if we want to push new talent, he might make fewer films now. But it has to be like that because we need those voices,” said Damgaard-Sørensen.
“I think there is this tension,” agreed Tatishvili, at the same time mentioning, “Real change happens not with changing an attitude, but when you alter your behaviour. […] These are exciting times to be a public funder because you are recalibrating on so many levels. Courage, creativity and willpower – that will drive any initiative.”
Wrapping things up, the Marché du Film’s executive director, Guillaume Esmiol, and Aleksandra Zacharchenko, head of programmes and training, talked about the impACT programme, focusing on diversity, inclusion, representation and sustainability. “We don’t want to ‘teach’ people; we are not the experts. We are a platform welcoming experts and initiatives,” explained Esmiol, with Zacharchenko also mentioning The impACT Lab, created to – as described – foster international co-production opportunities, and guide producers to create more meaningful, sustainable and impactful films.
As argued by Johanna Koljonen, “We can’t find, attract or retain new and diverse talents if our work environments are not healthy, and we won’t be financially viable or relevant if we don’t have this diverse talent.” Or, indeed, if answers are not sought in the most unusual places. “We should go and find some six-year-olds and talk to them about our job.”
Nostradamus is presented by the Göteborg Film Festival, with support from, and in collaboration with, lead partner Film i Väst, and with additional support from Region Västra Götaland, the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and Kulturakademin.
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