Covid-19 Resources

What does your chapter or organization do to support your members?

In order to support our members in this time,

  1. We have a 24 hour talkline available for questions and concerns. It is worry-some that women can be “in their home with an abuser. they can contact the talkline for the national abuse line
  2. As an information hub we offer intentional and practical advice across a wide genre.
  3. We host Virtual Cocktail events based on an rsvp list.
  4. These events can include movie reviews, questions about SAG Aftra, unemployment benefits for union and non union workers, crew jobs and general discussions on film, television, media.
  5. We are hosting a set of virtual film screenings in late April where members and friends can submit their films or suggest films they want to revisit. We will do this every week along with guest curators
What would you like to share with the rest of the world?

We want to share a positive attitude and the open hand of friendship and A listening ear. We love to collaborate and communicate.

Nancy Puetz

“We are only now creating our strategy regarding the new situation, but a few things have already been done.”

For example we have managed to arrange a Womarts event, a lecture regarding alternative financing to be organized as an online event, via streaming. It is a collaboration with Season Film Festival, and as the live festival (26.-29.3.2020) was cancelled and changed into an online event, WIFT Finland decided to stream the lecture at a later date (16.4.2020).

We will announce any further actions as soon as we have a plan ready; for now we have postponed our general assembly and are in the process of figuring out when and how we would be able to proceed with new arrangements for the assembly.”

Heli Tamminen, WIFT Finland

This is what SWAN has done so far around COVID-19:

– keep gathering information from different professionnal associations in our country regarding help, funding, unemployment, special grants in Switzerland etc for the audiovisual industry.

– relay on our facebookgroup and page these latest news around Covid.19 in the Swiss Audiovisual Industry and Cultural sector.

– post on our website, facebook groupe and facebook page  the official notice from the Swiss government regarding special emergency funds for the cultural sector, with the email of contact.

– reply to members who wrote to us with questions.

SWAN has unfortunately no means to set up a fund, or help out individuals.

This is what we would like to share with the world and would love to hear back from other chapters and partner chapters ideas on how to support the network. We personnally fear gender equality and diversity could face backlash because of COVID-19, as if it could be deemed “not as important as general health”.

We remember Simone de Beauvoir’s words: ” N’oubliez jamais qu’il suffira d’une crise politique, économique ou religieuse pour que les droits des femmes soient remis en question. Ces droits ne sont jamais acquis. Vous devrez rester vigilantes votre vie durant. ” -> “Never forget that it only takes a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be called into question. Women’s rights can never be taken for granted. You will have to remain vigilant for the rest of your life.”

We also know that, generally, women are more at risk and face more financial backlash than men during epidemic crises, as women are usually more the “caregivers” of society. SWAN is worried and would like to find ways to address this crisis now, as well as its repercussions once the crisis is over. Women artists, having less financial ressources, making less money, could find themselves financially strained, and leave filmmaking.

If WIFTI and the WIFT chapters had ideas on how to stop this from happening, we would love to exchange.

On a positive note, our swiss film awards ceremony was cancelled BUT the big winners this year were all WOMEN! best film, best doc, best screenplay, best music, best animation, best student film, best supporting role! Men won editing and photography. 
Stepháne Mitchell, SWAN Switzerland

“We had to cancel an event the 8th, launching the screenwriter’s lab for women.

We are currently under lock down and curfew until the 16th of April. The nation is praying this passes without too much damage. While under lock down, I was wanting to work on the summit presentation.”

Petrina D’Rozario, WIFT India

“We are focused on community and listening

Bringing members together to listen rather than give any extra overwhelm or pressure to suddenly upskill etc. I’m writing the statement now so I will pass this on in the next few days.  It will outline some specifics. I have been homeschooling for 20+ years – in fact the entire time that I have been a filmmaker – so I’ll be creating space to talk to those who are suddenly thrust into this role and are feeling utterly bewildered about what to do. 

We launched MentorHer, our mentorship program, in the middle of all of this. We have had a massive 242 applications. It was always an important initiative, but suddenly it feels even more meaningful. We have many wonderful mentors who are coming on now because they have lost work and want to make their time in isolation more meaningful.”

Katrina, WIFT Australia

“We are still in the works with setting up our chapter.

The Corona-virus has affected this a bit time-wise however we should be operative within 30 days. We’re planning multiple moderated events, accelerators and launching a public database with all female talent.”

Stefanie Jacobs, WIFTM Belgium