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PUC-Rio students develop an application to promote female representation and participation in cinema

O movie theater, like any form of art or expression, it only has to win when voices from all contexts, places and styles contribute to its realization. However, we all know that reality could not be further from this and film production continues largely in the hands of white men. And no, I'm not saying that this group is incapable of producing good cinema (quite the contrary, just watch a good part of the masterpieces hollywoodian already made), but that it shouldn't be basically the only.

Focusing on the issue of female participation in cinema, we see a scenario of progressive improvement, but still far from ideal. Between 2010 and 2013, only 23% of films with significant box office had women as protagonists; in that same period, only 31% of the characters with lines in these films were female (data from the Geena Davis Institute). We had to wait 82 years of Oscars until a woman was awarded the best direction statuette. In short: there is still a long way to go.

To help pave this long and winding road, a group of students from the Technical-Scientific Center of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) created the application Alice: Women in Cinema. The app, named after pioneering filmmaker Alice Guy, helps users find and evaluate films with female representation either in front or behind the cameras.

Sorry, app not found.

The operation of the app is based on two stamps attributed (or not) to the films: that of female representation, which indicates that a woman occupies one of the main posts in the production of a film (direction or script), and that of films that pass in the Bechdel Test, a test based on three questions that may serve, if not as a definitive indication of feminist films, at least they are worth as an incentive for the more realistic and less fetishized representation of women in the seventh art. Users themselves can indicate whether a particular film passes the Bechdel Test or not.

On the home screen, a section shows the films currently playing in theaters and their labels won, as well as popular films directed by women and a search engine. The application's database has the profile of more than 42,000 film professionals, including actresses, directors, producers, screenwriters, cinematographers, publishers, costume designers, production designers and much more, listing all the productions they were part of and adding a short bio.

Alice: Women in Cinema is available for free on the App Store and is compatible with iPhones running iOS 10 or higher. Congratulations for the initiative, folks!