EWA promotes gender equality in the audiovisual field in terms of employment and financing access and opportunities
Some of EWA's other objectives are creating a strong community of professional women to share experiences and support each other, as well as promoting audiovisual content created by women. The EWA Network grants awards annually at the DOK Leipzig, WEMW-Trieste, and La Coruna festivals. Here is Ada Solomon:
“It is an organization that has grown beautifully over the last few years, and which speaks less and does more, an attitude that suits me. The organization was created a few years ago, it is not a recent reaction meant to protect women in the audiovisual industry. It is an organization based more on shared positive experiences, a construction in which the more experienced try to share with younger colleagues, to be role models in success. I believe that there are many positive examples of a good integration of women in this industry, and in my opinion we have to use them, and build on them. This is my opinion, because I generally look on the positive side of things in life.”
Some of the activities Ada Solomon carried out as part of the organization were moderating the debate Gender Representation in European films in Berlin in 2014, teaching a master- class at the annual conference of EWA members in 2017, and this year in Trieste attending the mentorship program for beginner film producers.
“I think it is important to discuss this, because women's presence, both in terms of authorship and in terms of film content has been on the rise lately, but it was almost invisible many years before that. It is very interesting to see that in the last few years, looking on projects by younger or more experienced filmmakers, there is an almost obsessive return to the family, to the small community; also, the maternal figure is being re-evaluated in film. At the same time, we noticed that the presence of a woman – since filmmaking is a team undertaking – is very important. Because a woman can be very dedicated, be a good mediator, and can dedicate to a project with delicacy, diplomacy, and with less ego than a man. These are qualities to be used.”
Ada Solomon has produced and co-produced over 50 movies, which won over 180 awards at film festivals all over the world. She is the producer of the feature film 'Out of love, with the Best Intentions', by Adrian Sitaru, which won two awards in 2011 in Locarno, as well as the movies by Radu Jude 'Everyone in Our Family', which got the Heart of Sarajevo awards in 2012, the Bayard d'Or Grand Prize and the Best Leading Actor award at the Namur IFF, 'Aferim!’, which was nominated in over 30 festivals and got the Silver Bear in 2015 in Berlin for best director, the Grand Trophy at the Indie Lisboa, the FIPRESCI award at the Miskolc Jameson Film Festival, the audience award at the Let's CEE Film Festival, and the Bayard d'Or at the Francophone Film Festival in Namur, and 'Scarred Hearts', which, among others, got the Special Jury Award in Locarno, and the Silver Astor for best director at the Mar del Plata Film Festival. She was also the producer for the 2013 'Child's Pose', directed by Calin Peter Netzer, the first Romanian feature length movie that won the Silver Bear in Berlin.
In 2017 alone, Ada Solomon produced five films – three fiction and two documentary – considered the most important Romanian films of the year: 'One Step Behind the Seraphims', written and directed by Daniel Sandu, 'Maritza', by Cristian Iftime, 'Dead Country' by Radu Jude, 'Tarzan's Eggs', by Alexandru Solomon, and 'Soldiers. A Ferentari Story', the feature length debut by Ivana Mladenovici.
“I pick the movies based on who makes them. The way in which I pick the people is related to the way in which I see the world, to common values I have with them. I could not work with someone I don't share a value system with. If I look at the movies made last year, I could say that I have much in common with their makers. First of all, there is the way in which we see the world and the way in which we want to reveal it, to show it to the audience. Of course I chose these movies carefully, there's a lot of money going into making a movie, and for me making a movie just to offer half an hour of entertainment is not enough. I believe it is my duty to offer the audience more, to give them something to debate, to question their own vision of the world, and their attitudes. If I manage that or not, that remains to be seen. But I do what I can to stir things up.”
In 2013, Ada Solomon won the Eurimages Award for co-production, a distinction granted by the European Film Academy, in recognition of the decisive role of co-productions in the European film industry. One year later, she worked on the co-production Toni Erdmann, directed by Maren Ade, shot in Romania and nominated for the 'Best Foreign Film in a Language Other than English' at the 2017 Academy Awards. In January 2018, she got an award from the Central European Initiative for contributions to intercultural dialog at the Alpe Adria Trieste Festival. Ada Solomon is director in charge of distribution at microFILM, and the initiator of the Film NexT International Festival. She is a member of the European Film Academy board, and coordinator for Romania at the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs. (Translated by C. Cotoiu)