Friday, 24. November 2023

Ending violence against women and girls

Women in Film & Television Germany (WIFT), the MaLisa Foundation and Bundesverband Schauspiel (BFFS) publish white paper on storytelling and staging

On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Women in Film & Television Germany (WIFT), the MaLisa Foundation and the Bundesverband Schauspiel (BFFS) have published a white paper on the subject of gender-based violence in cinema, streaming and television.

The media shape our perception of reality and therefore have a special responsibility. This applies all the more to such a socially urgent topic as gender-based violence. The study “Gender-based Violence on German Television“, initiated by the MaLisa Foundation and UFA, shows that explicit gender-based violence, often serious violence against women, is portrayed in a third of all TV formats.  With this white paper, the cooperation partners would like to contribute to a conscious approach to the portrayal of violence against women in audiovisual media.

The recommended questions emerged from the discussions of an online think tank in September 2023, which brought together more than forty decision-makers from all areas of the industry. Among the participants were editors Frank Tönsmann from WDR, Sabine Holtgreve from NDR and Niklas Wirth from Degeto, as well as authors Mariann Kaiser (“Friesland”), Julia Penner (“37 Sekunden”) and Michael Proehl (“Tatort”), producer Nele Willaert from Gaumont (“Nichts, was uns passiert”), Lena Klein from Atalante Film and UFA Diversity Manager / Story Editor Juliana Maug.

An invitation to reflect on one’s own work and creative decisions

The paper offers recommended questions for script development, staging, editing and post-production and is aimed at representatives of the creative trades, production houses, broadcasting companies, streaming services and film funding organizations.

A wide range of questions was discussed at the online conference “Gender-based Violence in Cinema, Streaming and Television. Our Responsibility in Storytelling and Production”: How can we narrate violence against women free from stereotypes, clichés or a voyeuristic view? Can it be told without showing it directly? How can the perspective of the victims / survivors be shown, and how can the structures of violence against women be clearly exposed?

At the invitation of TeleVisionale 2023, the stimulus paper was presented and discussed with industry representatives as part of the industry days at the event Geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt im Fernsehenon Thursday, November 30, 2023.

This is the second think tank that WIFT Germany has initiated. The suggestions from the 2021 paper, “And Action! More actresses over 50 in cinema, streaming and television“, have defined an industry issue that is still relevant today and will have a lasting impact.



Download the white paper here.


further reading