I dislike the term 'woman filmmaker', says Portuguese filmmaker Rita Azevedo Gomes

Journalist Saraswathy Nagaraja hosted the session 'In Conversation With Rita Gomes'. Photo | Special arrangement

Portuguese director Rita Azevedo Gomes who attended a session hosted by journalist Saraswathy Nagarajan on the second day of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) said she was averse to the term 'woman filmmaker'.

Gomes narrated tales from her childhood where she was not allowed to speak at the dining table where her father and elder brothers sat and how she overcame every restriction by cultivating a spirit of free thinking. Her dislike towards the term ‘women filmmakers’ comes from her belief that the work that women do should be attributed to them because of their merit and not simply because of their gender.

Rita Azevedo Gomes. Photo | Special arrangement

Gomes also talked about the art and politics in her cinema and explained how she had to overcome the set structures of patriarchy to be a filmmaker. The director also stressed on the impact that OTT content has on the traditional format of cinema. Though she maintained that OTT platforms help different content reach people even in remote parts of the world, it comes with a pinch of salt as web series and similar content take away the 'wholesome experience of a full cinema.'

Gomes is the jury of the International Competition section at the IFFK. The Portuguese filmmaker had won the best director award at the Angra do Heroismo International Film Festival for Altar and the Golden Lady Harimaguada at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, 2019. Gomes is known mostly for films, including 'A Woman's Revenge' (2012) and 'A Portuguesa' (2018).

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