Over the past two years, a total of 19 filmmakers based in the three countries have met, online and in person, to discuss obstacles they face as women and non-binary people in the industry, to exchange ideas and resources, and to create together.
The Purple Meridians 2022
During a residency held in June 2022 at Fabellull in Olot, Catalunya, nine of the filmmakers met in person for the first time, with others joining online.
At the 3-day workshop, the filmmakers found themselves folding the discussion away from the obstacles they face in their work, and towards co-creation.
This, as they noted, was a vital move that took them from the realms of complaint (also a vital feminist tactic, as Sara Ahmed reminds us), to making something together, as an expression of solidarity.
For the filmmakers, this move from complaint to co-creation is not an evasion, but a form of praxis.
Not by chance, the collaborative film idea they developed was dubbed Las Impostoras, a re-purposing of a term that expresses many of the filmmakers’ complex relationship with the label of director, despite years of experience:
When and where are you a filmmaker? What’s the invisible side of you that allows the visible one to exist? In this collaborative project, which is still in progress, this self-doubt becomes a playful re-appropriation, where feminist collaboration leads to en-courage-ment.
The collaborative project Las Impostoras will be the object of the future development of The Purple Meridians.
Together, the filmmakers also coined the Epigenetics of Joy, another operative term by which to resist the accumulation of trauma:
the possibility to heal and recuperate knowledge and memory through audiovisual objects, and in dialogue with each other: a memory collective.
The Epigenetics of Joy is the title of the streaming program of The Purple Meridians 2022, divided in two parts
The Purple Meridians 2022: Guliz Saglam, Ahu Öztürk, Elif Yi̇ği̇t, Ruken Ergüneş Özdemir, Ana Giralt, Ro Caminal, Giulia Cosentino, Mariangela Ciccarello, Georgia Tsismetzoglou; Rezzan Bayram, Lisa Çalan (online, as they were not able to obtain a visa).
What is The Purple Meridians project?
In 2021 the project, sponsored by Eurimages, brought together 18 filmmakers, 6 from each country, to discuss the hurdles that female-identifying professionals face in the industry, share tools and advice for pre-production, production and distribution, and create a network for future collaborations.
The Purple Meridians are geographical and symbolical coordinates.
A Geographical Meridian refers to the divide between the North-West of Europe, where a higher percentage of female directors speak of a relatively more balanced system and the countries in the Southern countries, where the numbers are significantly worse. While gender obviously does not translate into a genre, the debate on the possibilities of a feminine, or better, of a non male and heteronormative gaze is still extremely topical, even when the filmmakers do not set out to investigate gender-related topics.
In this sense, a Conceptual Meridian charts two equality important priorities: on the one hand, the full recognition of movies that tackle aspects relative to gender equality as socially and culturally relevant, on the other, securing access for women filmmakers to jobs in productions (and genres) that are still almost completely dominated by men.