Milena Cocozza. The narrative of female filmmakers in the fantasy genre: The SGAE Foundation at SITGES 2023

Milena Cocozza. The narrative of female filmmakers in the fantasy genre: The SGAE Foundation at SITGES 2023

Director: Milena Coccozza

Storytelling by Women Filmmakers in the Fantastic Genre | SITGES Film Festival

This afternoon, as part of the Sitges Film Festival, the round table discussion "Leadership and References in the Fantastic Genre: The Creation of a Storytelling by Women Filmmakers" was held as part of the WomanInFan program. The SGAE Foundation, faithful to its goals of promoting equality in creation, collaborated and took part in this initiative that promotes the visibility and incorporation of female creators in fantastic filmmaking.  

The institutional director of Audiovisuals at the SGAE Foundation, Silvia Pérez de Pablos, led the meeting that featured Ángeles Huerta, director of O Corpo Aberto (2022), a feature film with supernatural components; Agnieszka Smoczynska, Polish director behind films including The Lure, and Milena Cocozza, one of the few Italian female fantastic genre directors and the woman behind the film Letto Numero 6.  

Pérez de Pablos introduced very relevant topics such as the support that these three women have received from the industry in their countries. Huerta, a member of the SGAE, spoke about the "difficulty of making films in Galicia, a very small territory where we are all family, and the use of the Galician language, which is our own, is a major obstacle for distribution". "However," she added, "in Galicia, the fantastic genre is deeply rooted and present in our oral tradition. And this pertains more to women. The very act of telling stories for centuries, positions us, Galician women, in a good place". Smoczynska and Cocozza emphasized the difficulties in obtaining money to make their productions "because there is no mainstream horror industry," they said.

Regarding the gaze of the fantastic genre created by women, Smoczynska commented that "female filmmakers look for more complex characters, it's what interests us the most". Huerta pointed out "the word, orality and storytelling and how we express ourselves with more sensoriality". Cocozza referred to "the individual vision, there is still no clear female narrative".

Silvia Pérez de Pablos closed the event by emphasizing, to sum up, "the optimism for the fact that there are new perspectives from female directors like yourselves; perspectives that go beyond the patriarchal aspect. We hope that there will be more and that there will also be more genres and subgenres with a female gaze".

The conference addressed the female subgenres of horror and the traditional use of the female body in the fantasy genre. The testimonies of Ángeles Huerta, Agnieszka Smoczynska and Milena Cocozza served as proof of how European fantastic genre films directed by women are increasingly contributing to the creation of new storytelling and monsters.

The SGAE Foundation's Commitment to Gender Equality  

Gender equality is a constant struggle in the field of culture. A recent study conducted by the SGAE Foundation denounces that only 17% of the members of the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers are women and that the salary gap is close to 20%. Social prejudices, family reconciliation problems and glass ceilings are some of the main causes that generate this inequality in the field of cultural creation.


(2023) Storytelling by Women Filmmakers in the Fantastic Genre. SITGES – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia