FICCI FLO Film Festival to host Global Symposium on Gender in Media

MUMBAI: The first FLO Film Festival organized by FICCI Ladies Organisation(FLO), Mumbai Chapter, the women’s wing of FICCI, today announces a new partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that will see the Festival host the Institute’s first Global Symposium on Gender in Media in Mumbai, India in February 2016.

Speaking about the partnership, Academy Award-winning actor and founder and Chairman Geena Davis said, “Media images have a huge impact on our perceptions, and on our social and cultural beliefs and behaviours. Our new global study, explores how global films may be reinforcing negative gender stereotypes with movie audiences of all ages.” The Institute is the only research-based organisation working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment.

FLO National President Archana Garodia Gupta said, “FLO has been working to empower women, and erase gender stereotypes for three decades. Films are a very powerful medium, and have a major role to play in our perception of the world. They can help redress the balance or reinforce negative gender images. We are very excited to bring this issue to the fore in the Film Capital of the world, and hope to improve the image of women in Indian films.”

At the 3rd Global Symposium on Gender in Media, the Institute will present new global research which explores the influence of film audiences in the UK, India, Nigeria, France and Brazil funded by the Oak Foundation.

The Festival will open with the Symposium, (the Symposium is sponsored by Independent Television Service Inc- ITVS), which will convene eminent entertainment content creators, business leaders, actors, directors, media personalities, policy makers, to engage in dialogue around the institute’s global research along with two panel discussions from leading entertainment industry personalities, content creators, along with gender in media related subject matter experts.

CEO Geena Davis Institute Madeline Di Nonno said, “We are honoured to be partnering with FLO. They have been working for the education of the girl child, mentoring women entrepreneurs and many initiatives to empower women since the past 32 years. Our Symposium and the Film Festival are great platforms to discuss the depiction and representation of women and girls and how films can influence social and cultural views and beliefs. We are also very excited to continue our long partnership with ITVS.”

FLO Member of the Advisory Panel Amruta Devendra Fadnavis said, “Films are an integral part of our culture. The Movies have made us laugh, cry, they have inspired us and have been an important constituent in the cultural evolution of our society. “Objectifying” women in films should be done away with and be replaced by the characterisation of strong women, which will create a very positive subconscious impact on the society as a whole.”

FICCI Ladies Organisation Chairperson Falguni Padode said, “The FICCI FLO Film Festival hopes to create an impact that will mobilize and inspire audiences to bring about a paradigm shift in their perception towards crucial female-centric issues in India and across the globe.”

The films, national as well as international, features, shorts, documentaries, animation and digital films will focus on Women Empowerment spanning subjects of Skilling and Vocation, Educating the Girl Child, Hygiene and Wellness, Self Esteem and Economic Independence, Mental Health and Sexual Exploitation.

FICCI FLO Film Festival Creative Director Rashmi Lamba said, “For the first time in India, the FICCI FLO Film Festival aims to be the ‘Catalyst For Change through Film’ and will provide a platform to bring together the voices and expertise of leading Indian and global media institutions and organisations working towards creating gender sensitivity and women empowerment.”

Leading global and Indian Film and Media Institutes and Organisations that include Whistling Woods International, Women Make Movies, ITVS, Population First, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and Point of View will showcase selected films and hold a series of strategic Workshops during the FLO Film Festival to focus on gender sensitivity, skill development, outreach and social impact, to enable audiences to become discerning viewers and critically reflect on their media consumption and how it influences them.

A special screening of the acclaimed movie – He Named Me Malala was held as a special event to announce the Partnership and Film Festival.With a presence in 14 locations across the country and over 4,000 members, FLO boasts of some outstanding work in the field of women empowerment.

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