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Funding Success for AHRC Project 'Women in Italian Film Production: Industrial Histories and Gendered Labour, 1945-85'

Stephen Gundle, of Film and Television Studies, has received funding of £970,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a three-year research project on the place of women in the Italian film industry in the decades after World War Two. The project builds on work undertaken by Stephen and Karl Schoonover between 2016 and 2019 on a previous AHRC project about producers and production practices in Italian cinema. The other investigators on the new project – which begins in February 2023 - will be Daniela Treveri Gennari and Silvia Dibeltulo of Oxford Brookes University.

The Italian industry was the second largest in the world in the 1950s and 1960s. It differed from the others on account of the high degree of political involvement (it was re-founded in the sound era under Mussolini’s Fascist regime and postwar governments subjected it to close regulation) and strong family input. Both of these things ensured that there was a male dominance that exceeded that of other countries. However, some women did make important contributions that have up to now been overlooked as a result of historiographical paradigms that accord prominence to roles like director and producer from which women were largely excluded before the 1970s. The project will seek to change this situation in various ways including by digitising the archives of some key women screenwriters, production managers and producers, researching many others and gathering oral testimonies from within the industry. Among the outputs will be a digital research resource, three documentaries and photographic exhibitions in Italy and the UK, as well as various publications.


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