“..representation of women in Dutch cinema, it still isn’t that great..”

representation of women

“I worked as the script coach for the fiction FilmLAB of CinemAsia Film Festival. I guided the FilmLAB participants from beginning to end. Step by step, from their first film idea to script. One of my focuses had to do with the representation of women in these scripts. In a workshop class I gave, I addressed a broad perspective of how women are portrayed in mainstream, but also art house films. What are conservative and what are progressive images of women and what does it say about society and the time that we live in. I must say that if we look at the representation of women in Dutch cinema, it still isn’t that great. I base this on the research that I have done. During my bachelor thesis, while studying at the University of Amsterdam, I focused on women’s representation in Dutch romantic comedies, a popular genre. For my Master thesis, I focused on motherhood in Dutch films. I coined three specific mother types. The domestic mother, the monstrous mother and the final mother. I continued my research after I graduated. I specialized in dramaturgy and the representation of women and as a script editor, I can even see that low representation of women starts in the scripts. Meaning that female characters are either not layered enough, miss depth or they are an extension of a male character. That’s why I want to stimulate change, by making people more aware of it. They either weren’t aware of it and need to work on it, but if it was meant for the script with a good argument then I have understanding for that. After all, I only help people communicating the story they want to tell” – Gwyneth Sleutel

Photo and story by Feargal Agard


An interview with CinemAsia FilmLAB 2019 script coach Gwyneth Sleutel.

You can discover films from Asia at CinemAsia Film Festival 2019 from the 5th till the 10th of March.

Go to the festival programme to get your tickets: https://cinemasia.nl/en/film-programme-2019/programme-schedule/

Website: https://cinemasia.nl/en/