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July 27, 2011 2:32:13 | in General

Feature: Peruvian women conquer at roundtable for filmmakers

Snapshot from a scene of the short-film "Payasos" (Photo:

By Juan Carlos Manning 

This Tuesday 26, at CCPUCP (the cultural center of PUCP University) a roundtable was held for the subject of Peruvian women filmmakers in today’s world. The speakers for this event were Valeria Ruiz (“Rey de Londres”), Rosario García Montero (“Are you feeling lonely?”), Judith Velez (“Seis con ocho”), Gabriela Yepes (“Danzak”), Marianela Vega (“Payasos”), Silvana Aguirre (“Ela”) and Josue Mendez, a director with a special interest in the discussed subject.

Director and actor in short-film "El rey de Londres" by Valeria Ruiz. (Photo:

It is definitely a new time for Peruvian cinema. Never has Peru had as many women filmmakers as it has today and having the incredible academic background these women have. At least that seems to be the general appreciation of the matter according to Josue Mendez and the event’s host.

However even though five out of these six women have graduated from prestigious universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, all in general have shared their experience on the hardships that have to do with the lack of financial support and having to invest their own money into the production of their short films.

Then again, despite the hardships involved, it is still important to remember, as Josue Mendez pointed out, that these women agreed to these tough decisions knowingly and were brave enough to pursue academic background outside of Peru: something fairly uncommon among their male colleagues.

Another important thing that this director noted is that female filmmakers complained less than their male counterparts and actually had much more positive thinking than the others.

However something must be clear at this point, despite the obvious inclination for acknowledging this women for their accomplishments, it must be clear that the toughness for women in this industry is not only a Peruvian issue, but it is still an issue in many parts of the world, including Hollywood, according to Judith Velez. She said that after reading an article made on male and female filmmakers in Hollywood, the vast majority of box-office titles and films involving fiction are given to male directors, and the documentary films are inclined for female directors.

It is definitely a tough world for any filmmaker to just stand out of the ordinary, however this women may be in the right when they say that it does not matter the cost, if you love it, go for it. They say, and I stand by that, that: what is most important is to find a balance between art and the business; one cannot be on one end and leave the other one altogether.

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