TERESA VILLAVERDE: MAKING OMELETS WITHOUT EGGS
AbstractNearly 50 percent of the students graduating with degrees in film directing programs are women; nearly half of the film audiences around the globe are women; yet, women direct only 8 percent of the films. Like most other industries, men control by men the film industries. An opportunity to direct a film is hard to come by for men. It’s even harder for women. However, when a woman breaks through the glass ceiling, the results are refreshingly satisfying – bringing new perspectives on the female experience and interpersonal relationships. The purpose of this paper is to bring to focus the work of a Portuguese film director, Teresa Villaverde. She began her film career as an actor in À Flor do Mar /Hovering over the Water (1986) and directed her first feature film, A Idade Maior (1991). Since then, she has directed more than a dozen films. For many of these, she has also doubled as writer, editor, cinematographer, and producer. Not only is she a prolific auteur director, her work has earned recognition at international film festivals. The paper describes her professional career and some of the themes she has tackled in her films, e.g., the homeless, the socially alienated, the abused and silenced and the economically unnecessary. Although working with small budgets, she has established herself among the most significant directors in Europe. Relying on existing interviews and reviews, the paper presents Villaverde as a role model for other young filmmakers pursuing careers in cinema.
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