Video description on YouTube (English translation):
'The Brazilian media opens up space and echoes old fascist, macho and retrograde speeches, while in the streets another scream becomes urgent. We are the new policy. A pulsing body politic! Feminism is revolution!'
(The first question was answered by members of the Mulheres no Audiovisual PE group, particularly Maria Duda Moendy and Juliana Santos, and the remainder by Laíse Queiroz.)
Her Film Project: Can you please describe your group and why you created it?
Mulheres no Audiovisual PE: We created this group because of many things. However, mainly, it was our frustration and unease at the long-standing, male-dominated nature of broadcasting in which men occupy the most prominent positions. Our first mission was to produce a series of short films in the week leading up to SlutWalk Recife. Our entirely female team of producers and filmmakers documented and reflected upon the many events happening in that short period of time. That very week, a girl was gang-raped by 30 men in Rio de Janeiro, Dilma Roussef was suspended, and a conservative, all-white, all-male interim government was brought in. It was shocking and frightening, but it made it even clearer just how important it is for women to come together to take action.
In the beginning we did not define the character of the group. Our goal was simply to produce the SlutWalk Recife videos and share them around the world. The only thing we knew is that we wanted an all-women collaborative working group, a group without a hierarchy. This is something that has not ever existed in Brazil before!
When we created the Facebook page, the reaction and support was huge – we were like WOW! We knew then that many women in broadcasting shared our frustrations both in the work place and in life, too. It is very hard to be a woman and occupy spaces of leadership – I think you know that. We can say that after this first experience of producing together we can see very clearly that we are heading in the right direction. The group is growing and growing - it is amazing! We won’t stop. We want women's voices to fill every position, every space and we’re gonna be the ones filming and recording it happen.
Laíse Queiroz: The audiovisual from Pernambuco is a highlight in Brazil. We are known for having a strong market and a significant production, internationally recognized. In this context, we are forming a strong group of women working on this market and trying to reverse years of invisibility and male dominance. Our intention is to produce, qualify and prepare women to occupy any positions they want. We are getting to know each other and become stronger, getting to know that, yes, there are women working in certain functions that are particularly dominated by men; we are empowering each other. We are talking, promoting debates, movie sessions, ofering workshops and everything. Besides, we are creating campaigns and videos to discuss the role of women in general. We have many, many ideas and hopes that they will become true. And the response is awesome!
HFP: What are some of the reasons why women have joined your group?
LQ: To create, to get to know each other, to become stronger and stronger. Groups of feminist women are getting together everywhere to learn, to demand their rights. And that's exactly what we are doing, but focusing on audiovisual work. It's our main weapon.
HFP: In the U.S., financing of film is mostly through private investment; however, most of the rest of the world has public funding. Does governmental funding of media exist in Brazil?
LQ: Yes, Brazilian films have public funding support. I suppose that favors individual freedom, but unfortunately, that ends up excluding people who can't understand the paper work, that's a whole lot of it! We need to facilitate the paths and democratize production.
HFP: How does the current and uncertain condition of the Brazilian government (the coup against President Dilma Rousseff and the negative actions by the new President Michel Temer to cancel several ministries such as education) affect what you do as audiovisual professionals?
LQ: We are living in a political coup that has brought many setbacks in many areas and many years of rights achievements. The Ministry of Culture, for example, has been eliminated as one of the first actions of the coup -- disgusting president. We do know that many funds and financing primarily related to education are being destroyed.
HFP: Why do you think it is important for Brazil, or the world, to hear the voices and perspectives of women through media?
LQ: It is extremely important that women CREATE audiovisual pieces and work in the CREATION of the films. The way women are represented on the screen completely changes from the view of a woman compared to the point of view of a man. And the way that women are represented on the screen has great impact on society as a whole. Besides that, we believe in the importance of enabling women to hold the position she wants in the audiovisual chain, which does not happen. Many positions are mostly dominated by men.