WIFTI x Cannes International Film Festival 2021

WIFTI x Cannes International Film Festival 2021

wifti x pavillon afrique cannes

Producing & Social Impact with Pavillon Afriques in Cannes

We are delighted to be co-hosting a conversation with Pavillon Afriques at the Cannes International Film Festival. 

Our moderator Inya Lawal, WIFTI board member and President of WIFT Africa, will speak to Tope Oshin (Nigeria), Joyce Pierpoline (US), Didahr Dohmeri (France) and Nangita Pritish Nandy (India).

The conversation will explore the journey and growth of successful producers in the film/tv and digital industry with a key focus on how they use their knowledge and position to positively impact upcoming creatives. The panelists will share nuggets on building a career and tips that helped them rise or overcome career difficulties. The conversation will also touch on the mutual benefits of mentorship; and the benefits of psychosocial support, career guidance and role modelling for protégés.

Sign up here! 


WIFTI Worldwide Webinar with Christin Baker

WIFTI Worldwide Webinar with Christin Baker

webinar with christin baker

Producing, Distributing & Social Impact with Christin Baker


// How to put underrepresented topics on the radar? What is it like to get your own production company and streaming service off the ground? How to find investors for your indie project? 

In this highly interactive webinar, we will meet Christin Baker who is an award-winning director, Emmy-nominated producer andchristin baker owner of Tello Films. Tello focuses on lesbian/queer content and is the first lesbian/queer network to receive an Emmy Nomination. The series Secs & EXECS has received a 2017 Emmy Nomination for Mindy Sterling, Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy/Drama Series. In 2019 the series “Riley Parra” received 2 Emmy nominations for actresses Liz Vassey and Carolyn Ratteray.

Christin is passionate about telling relevant and meaningful original stories. Tello Films is the leader in distributing and creating original content (features, shorts and series) as well as creating a platform for monetizing niche entertainment. Christin was awarded Best Director for her work on Maybelle at the 2016 London Raindance Film Festival and is a member of the Producers Guild of America as well as the Television Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Join us for an inspiring talk on how to make your dreams reality!

christin baker wifti

Date: 14th June, 2021

Time: 9am PST / 12pm EST / 6pm CET


Register here!

WIFTI Worldwide Webinar: Filmmaking in Bangladesh

WIFTI Worldwide Webinar: Filmmaking in Bangladesh

WIFTI webinar feminist intervention

Filmmaking in Bangladesh: Cinema as Feminist Intervention

Re-watch the webinar here.

Filmmaker and WIFTI Board Member Rubaiyat Hossain will be in conversation with filmmakers Elizabeth D. Costa, director of Bangla Surf Girls, 2021, and Zana Shammi, director of Untying the Knot, 2019, on real impact of films on society.

We will discuss the systemic exclusion of women directors, but how in that, the act of filmmaking can become a space for the filmmakers as well as the characters to express themselves.

We will talk about how the films by women directors like Elizabeth D. Costa (Bangla Surf Girls, 2021), and Zana Shammi (Untying the Knot, 2019) create real impact on society by engaging young women surfers and survivors of domestic violence in a conservative Muslim society with a strong patriarchal culture. How can films can be a tool of feminist intervention for women to be seen, heard and create tangible changes in society?

Elizabeth D. Costa is rapidly emerging as one of Bangladesh’s most exciting female directors and cinematographer. As a Bangladeshi born and raised one of the few Christian minorities she has over 10 years of experience and are passionate about storytelling. Her first feature doc “Bangla Surf Girls” recently world premiered on HotDocs 2021. She was nominated by her Producer and shared the Don Haig award this year in HotDocs. In 2017, she was selected for the Chicken and Egg Accelerator Lab. Elizabeth was also selected to attend the IDFA academy in 2017, to hone her craft. Elizabeth began her career as a script supervisor with the acclaimed pioneer Bangladeshi filmmakers Tareque and Catherine Masud, before earning her MA in Film Studies from the University of Dhaka. She has directed television shows and worked in several short films for a range of media outlets domestic and internationally including PBS Newshour, SBS Dateline, BBC Media Action, NOS News – Netherlands, Vice News UK, and Bloomberg TV, La Sexta Spanish TV and also worked as line producer on two times Academy award winner, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary “A Journey of Thousand Miles”. From 2016 to 2017, Elizabeth worked as communications advisor for UNDP Bangladesh and in this capacity produced a number of media advocacy stories about women empowerment. And during the Rohingya exodus 2017 – 2018 she covered for International organizations like Human Rights Watch, Dutch Television and PBSNewshour as a Producer/Cameraperson inside the refugee camp.

Zana Shammi is a Bangladeshi-Canadian journalist and filmmaker. Her first feature documentary, Untying the Knot, was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and premiered at the renowned Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto, under the banner ‘Films Changing the World.’ Untying the Knot has screened internationally and won awards on the festival circuit, including Audience Choice and Courage in Cinema. In 2019, it was part of Samabhav, a traveling film festival and discussion forum that screened in multiple cities across India. Before coming to North America, Zana worked as a journalist in her hometown of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Dhaka.



Date: 25th May, 2021

Time 9am PST / 12pm EST / 6pm CET


Re-watch the webinar here.

Letter from Anna Serner to WIFT members & SFI’s Facts & Figures 2020

Letter from Anna Serner to WIFT members & SFI’s Facts & Figures 2020

SFI Facts and Figures


Letter from Anna Serner to WIFT members

Following our open letter thanking Anna Serner for her decade-long work for gender equality, Anna has sent us a response, amongst others also drawing on the Swedish Film Institute’s latest Facts & Figures report. Their work is beyond inspiring, but also nowhere near finished as Anna humbly acknowledges.

Read the report here.

Dear WIFT members,

I am proud to present Facts & Figures 2020, our yearly report providing a comprehensive insight into film in Sweden today. As you know, 2020 was a very challenging year for all of us. It affected the whole industry, Sweden included. Still, when it comes to gender equality things looked brighter.

The share of Swedish feature-length fiction films with funding from our commissioners that were directed by a woman was at 64%, with the same percentage for films with a female producer, and films with a female screenwriter was at 57%. Also, Swedish feature films released in 2020 had as many female leads as male leads, and 59% of all the feature-length fiction films of last year passed the Bechdel test. With this said, there is still a lot of inequalities when we put our intersectional glasses on. Gender equality means equality for all women, disregarding skin colour, sexual orientation, age etc, and it should apply to all budgets and genres.

I am still overwhelmed and deeply touched by your letter following my notice of resignation a few weeks ago. Thank you again, and thanks for all the work you do – every day. As I’ve said to some of you, I will stick around for another six month and I hope our paths will cross many times before and after that.

Warmest regards,
Anna Serner
CEO, The Swedish Film Institute

50 organisations celebrate Anna Serner alongside WIFTI

50 organisations celebrate Anna Serner alongside WIFTI

anna serner sfi


WIFTI joined by 50 Organisations in Open Letter to Anna Serner


After 10 years as CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, Anna Serner has handed in her resignation on 27 April, 2021.

Women in Film & Television International is grateful for and proud of Anna’s work for gender equality and inclusion in the global film industry, and we wish to express our admiration with this open letter signed by 50 international film organisations.


Dear Anna,

Thank you for your decade long commitment and work towards inclusion in the global film industry. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of your work for gender equality. Since taking the helm of The Swedish Film Institute in 2011, you’ve been an unwavering force for women at all levels of the industry. With your passion, dedication and clarity, you’ve led by example, and given us all hope, encouragement and strength.

When 50/50 by 2020 was introduced in Cannes in 2016, it became a global rallying cry – heard by film institutes, festivals, studios, companies and organizations on all continents. Since then, the industry has taken strides, but we still have a long way to go. We won’t stop. We won’t quit.

We all wish you the best of luck with your next endeavor and hope that we will be working with you again in the future.

In gratitude.


Your friends,


Helene Granqvist, Women in Film and Television International

Inya Lawal, Women in Film & Television Africa

Katrina Graham, Women in Film & Television Australia

Rubaiyat Hossain, Women in Film & Television Bangladesh

Nagila Guimares, Women in Film & Television Brasil

Susan Brinton, Women in Film & Television Canada

Tsiako Abesadze, Women in Film & Television Caucasus

Li Dan, Women in Film & Television China

Petra Terzi, Women in Film & Television Cyprus

Malene Flindt Pedersen, Women in Film & Television Denmark

Eeva-Sofia Anttonen, Women in Film & Television Finland

Nicole Ackermann, Women in Film & Television Germany

Rea Wallden, Women in Film & Television Greece

Anna Sæunn Ólafsdóttir, Women in Film & Television Iceland

Petrina d’Rozario, Women in Film & Television India

Dr. Susan Liddy, Women in Film & Television Ireland

Domizia De Rosa, Women in Film, Television & Media Italia

Kirsten Schaffer, Women in Film LA

Eva Brazdžionytė, Women in Film & Television Lithuanian Chapter

Cynthia Lopez, New York Women in Film & Television

Patricia Watson, Women in Film & TV New Zealand

Ingebjørg Torgersen, WIFT-Norway

Gabriel Baur & Stéphane Mitchell, SWAN Swiss Women’s Audiovisual Network

Caroline Ortmark, Women in Film & Television Sweden

Melissa Houghton, Women in Film & Video Washington DC


Paula Vaccaro, ARTEF – Anti-Racism Taskforce for European Film

Julie-Jeanne Régnault, EFAD – Association of European Film Agencies

Franklin Leonard, The Black List

Dr. Emilia Zenzile Roig, Center for Intersectional Justice Berlin

Delphyne Besse & Laurence Lascary, Collectif 5050

Deborah Williams, Creative Diversity Network

Nanna Frank Rasmussen, Chair of Danish Film Critic Association

Brigid O’Shea & Marion Schmidt, Documentary Association of Europe

Alessia Sonaglioni, EWA Network

Matthijs Wouter Knol, European Film Academy

Dennis Ruh, European Film Market

Kate Kinninmont, The f Word Media Company

Effie T. Brown, Gamechanger Films

Anna Möttölä, Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy

Marge Liiske, Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event

Anne Lajla Utsi, International Samí Film Institute

Gyda Velvin Myklebust, New Nordic Films Haugesund

Dögg Mósesdottír, Nordic Girls Shoot Iceland

Victoria Emslie, Primetime

T. Bhebhe, H. Currimbhoy, L. Mukerjee, P. Struthers, Programmers of Colour Collective

Stephanie Thogersen, Stockholm Feminist Film Festival

Tabitha Jackson & Keri Putnam, Sundance Institute

Dame Heather Rabbatts, TIME’S UP UK

Bérénice Vincent, Totem Films

Theo Lindberg, Trans and Non-binary Film Network

Bina Paul, Women in Cinema Collective

Melissa Silverstein, Women and Hollywood

Jan Miller, Women in View Canada