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Commission launches ‘CharactHer’, a campaign supporting diversity and inclusion in the film and media industries

The European Commission has launched today an awareness campaign aiming at fostering gender diversity and inclusion in the film and news media industries. Launched at the Festival de Cannes and under the title ‘CharactHer’, the campaign will run until the end of the year to increase awareness of inequalities in the sectors.

Envisioned in the framework of the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan adopted to support the recovery and transformation of the media industry, the campaign will contribute to empower all the European talents, both in front and behind the camera, with a particular focus on women.

By portraying female role models, the campaign aims to:

  • spotlight lesser-known positions in the industry to promote diversity through the great variety of potential career paths;
  • encourage young women to pursue careers in domains traditionally considered “masculine” by showing them that, in reality, women can access and succeed in these fields - and dismantle stereotypes and prejudices stating that some jobs are out of their reach due to their gender;
  • highlight the achievements and singularities of different profiles; with the focus on possibilities and opportunities, rather than impediments.

The final goal of the campaign is to foster inclusion and representativeness to enable the media industries to remain culturally rich and vibrant, in tune with the diversity of our European societies.

A total of 12 interview videos featuring inspiring women will be released, and viewers will get the chance to learn about the particularities of their positions, their professional experiences, challenges and achievements.

The videos will be complemented with further communication material to be disseminated on social media, and with a toolkit that will be distributed in mid/high schools across Europe, as well as in film schools and educational organisations.

The campaign is part of von der Leyen Commission’s agenda of a Union of Equality via the EU Gender Equality Strategy aiming at a gender-equal Europe by 2025.

Cannes Film Festival

The campaign’s activities will kick start this afternoon with a hybrid press conference at 15.45 and a hybrid launch event at 16.15, both held during the 2021 Cannes festival.

In addition, the Commission will participate in other activities under the umbrella of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme, including several events targeting the professionals and addressing topics varying from info-sessions on calls under the new programme, business innovation or access to finance.

17 films supported by MEDIA are competing for awards, both in the context of the festival and parallel competitions (La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and La Semaine de la Critique).  

Background

CharactHer is the first initiative with a clear focus on diversity and inclusion launched under the framework of the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. Adopted in December 2020, this roadmap set fostering diversity as a key priority in the Commission’s support to the recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sectors.

The campaign responds to a broader policy effort to strengthen the Commission’s commitment for a gender-balanced and more diverse creative sector. It also responds to President von der Leyen Commission’s agenda of a Union of Equality via the EU Gender Equality Strategy, which aims to reach a gender-equal Europe by 2025.

In 2018, Creative Europe MEDIA began to engage with stakeholders in a bid to raise awareness of persistent imbalances, collect data and establish a network of partners working for a common objective.

The CharactHer campaign will be run in partnership with Collectif 50/50, an organisation advocating for gender parity in the audiovisual sector in France.