Scholarly article on topic 'Social Representation of Gender in Award-winner Short Films in Spain'

Social Representation of Gender in Award-winner Short Films in Spain Academic research paper on "Media and communications"

Share paper
OECD Field of science
shortfilm / representation of social actors / gender roles / stereotypes

Abstract of research paper on Media and communications, author of scientific article — Dinka Acevedo Caradeux, Luz Gil Salom

Abstract The decrease in costs of digital technology and the spread of the Internet has increased the number of filmmakers who can produce a short film, thus changing hegemonies in audiovisual discourse production. In this study we have examined 50 short films to analyze the social representation of gender and identify the main discoursive lines of filmmakers about men and women roles. To this end, we followed the methodological framework proposed by Van Leeuwen (2008) about the representation of social actors. We have identified the latent ideological characteristics in discourse construction that reflect the major gender representations of the current directors of short films.

Academic research paper on topic "Social Representation of Gender in Award-winner Short Films in Spain"

Available online at


Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 95 (2013) 126 - 135

5th International Conference on Corpus Linguistics (CILC2013)

Social Representation of Gender in Award-Winner Short Films in

Dinka Acevedo Caradeux, Luz Gil Salom*

Departamento de Lingüística Aplicada. Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Camino de Vera, s/n 46022, Valencia, Spain


The decrease in costs of digital technology and the spread of the Internet has increased the number of filmmakers who can produce a short film, thus changing hegemonies in audiovisual discourse production. In this study we have examined 50 short films to analyze the social representation of gender and identify the main discoursive lines of filmmakers about men and women roles. To this end, we followed the methodological framework proposed by Van Leeuwen (2008) about the representation of social actors. We have identified the latent ideological characteristics in discourse construction that reflect the major gender representations of the current directors of short films.

© 2013 TheAuthors. Publishedby ElsevierLtd. Selectionandpeer-reviewunderresponsibilityofCILC2013.

Keywords: shortfilm; representation of social actors; gender roles; stereotypes

1. Introduction

Gender identity is the assignment of roles that society gives individuals according to their biological sex. The formation of this identity is influenced by various external factors, among which the family, the school, the state and the media stand out. In its broadest sense and following Rubin (1975: 34), gender can be understood as the set of representations, spaces, features, practices and expectations that are assigned to men and women from their biological difference as something natural. The influence of the media in the construction of gender identity is very significant. The representations they transmit as social practices affect the perpetuation and dissemination of gender inequalities, but also for challenging and confronting these ideas. Everything depends on the ideology of the

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +34696830172 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of CILC2013. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.631

message. The control of discourse in the media context can influence the determination of socially acceptable behavior for men and women, apart from establishing evaluations and hierarchies depending on the biological characteristics of individuals. Authors such as Haskell (1975) or Bourdieu (2000) speak about gender as a cultural product that is not conditioned by biology, so it can be deconstructed and changed.

The hypothesis of this study is that the exponential growth of filmmakers with opportunities to produce and distribute their own audiovisual works has not meant a change in the patriarcal treatment of stories and their characters. This is so because until the beginning of the XXI century, the cinema was dominated by some lobbies with the economic power to control the discourse of audiovisual works. These groups had the power to maintain and reinforce their ideological structures, as regards both the economy and the set of values of society. But the arrival of new technologies has democratized the use of the camera, the editing programs, and has facilitated the distribution via the Internet. This new scenario has allowed a new wave of directors and filmmakers to provide a new glance that may reflect other interests and values. The hypothesis that this situation is reflected in the current film production, has led us to carry out this study so as to check if there are any differences and changes in this field. In this sense, the representation of women in the short films analyzed would be still characterized by the exclusion, the generalization, and the predominance of passivity.

The theoretical framework includes information regarding feminist film theory and the criticism of the representation of women in films, with exponents such as Rosen (1973) and Mulvey (1989). The models of femininity prevalent in classic and commercial cinema are studied, as well as the development of the short film as an emerging format for discourse reproduction. The corpus analyzed in this study consists of 50 fiction short films prizewinning in Spain between 2010 and 2012, and disseminated on the Internet. The analytical framework is based on the representation models of social actors proposed by Van Leeuwen (2008), which are immersed within the theoretical current of Critical Discourse Analysis. Based on these frameworks, our study will identify latent ideological characteristics in the discourse, which reflect the main gender representations of the current directors of short films. We believe that the vision of those who are creating audiovisual fiction influences the construction of gender subjective identities on the audience and, consequently, the entire social sphere.

2. Theoretical Framework

2.1 Representations of gender in film discourse: Classic Cinema

The 70 s marked the beginning of a series of studies that question the female models proposed in the commercial and classic cinema (Rosen 1973, Haskell 1975). Located within cultural studies that were addressed primarily by Anglo-Saxon universities (United States and Britain and Northern Europe), women's studies form part of the critical and anti hegemonic tendency of the vindicatory movements of the era. From this decade on, a review of the historical development and cultural products of the West began. In this way, feminism questioned the power structures of a clearly patriarchal society and wanted to rewrite the history of men to visualize the history of women, through the recovery of the silenced voices.

The critical feminist theory is influenced by the legacy of the women's studies. This theory will develop its theoretical postulates based on sociology, psychoanalysis, semiotics and linguistics, and also following the French structuralists exponents, e.g. Lacan, Foucault, Deleuze, Barthes and Althusser. According to Althusser s postulates (1974), we can consider some of the main concerns that feminist film theory assume as their own:

• The discourses released by the media, in this case cinema, are not innocent, but they have a naturalizing and conservative purpose.

• As naturalizing, it is a discourse that promotes the implementation of representation models that the audience like to identify with.

• Such models of representation provoke a verifiable psychological impact.

• The forces that operate in the implementation of the system are directly related to power, a predominantly patriarchal area.

• As a dominant force, patriarchal discourses broadcast a masculine look, which promotes sexual difference and places women in a subordinate place. We should not forget additional problems that increase these differences, like the fact of belonging to a different race from the hegemonic one or other cultures.

• • The task carried out by the hegemonic representation models leads to a social construction of race, sexuality and gender, oriented to be perceived as something natural.

Following these principles, feminist film theory will claim that the treatment of women's discourse aims to replicate over and over the most traditional stereotypes of femininity, which basically show women as objects of desire, adoration or violence and also to be portrayed as passive subjects, punished if they dare to consider some type of active attitude, or to challenge or question the hegemonic model of "Angel in the House", and being trapped by the impossibility to leave the juxtaposed complementary figures of mother/femme fatale or the virgin/whore (Colaizzi, 2008). In the construction of their personalities they are represented with unusual repetition as the hysterical woman, the capricious woman, the bad woman, or the mother intended solely for housework. Castro (2002: 23-48) quotes Haskell (1975), and points out how the traditional roles of Hollywood (i.e. the mother, the neighbour, the virgin, the faithful friend, the wife, the vamp) have little to do with actual identities of women and their experiences. Its starting point is the conviction of cinema as a propaganda tool of the American dream. (... ) The discursive hardening of cinema would be regarded as a consequence of the spaces won by women and feminist studies, just in that period.

Among the recurring criticisms towards Haskell's (1975) propositions, Castro (2002) considers the different types of women in the cinema as reflections of a real referent, ignoring that the stereotypes patented by the industry have cultural and unnatural character. However, Mulvey (1989) resolves this issue by arguing that the film image is a political tool that shows how the unconscious of patriarchal society has structured the film form, embodying a model of representation interested in perpetuating power structures that maintain this patriarchal society. In this sense, the gaze is predominantly male, establishing sexual differentiation between the active subject (protagonist-spectator) and object (the woman as passive subject, intended to be contemplated).

2.2 From classic cinema to the short film

In the world of cinema, and in general in all media, representation "of the real" is developed from an ideology controlled by media monopolies which seek to strengthen values and ideas through the discourses in order to control our spending habits and the way to act in society. We can say that what audiovisual productions show is not necessarily a reflection of reality or a mirror of the contemporary world. However, there are visual realizations, especially independent ones, which escape from this discursive hegemony and offer other worldviews, opening the variety of "real" and showing new ways of seeing things with other stories that can give a counterpoint to those ideas that the main cultural industries offer.

The short film has a number of features that make it an ideal format to open the doors to those who cannot access the cinema industry but wish to enjoy audiovisual creation. According to Adelman (2005) in this digital age making a short film is extremely easy, everyone could make it. In 2003, organizers of the Sundance Film Festival were amazed to see that the number of shorts submitted to the competition was 40% higher than the previous year. The definition of short film is somewhat vague and even directors are unable to agree about their essence, as we can see in Cardoso's research (2011:181). Several dozen short film directors were asked to give a definition of this genre, receiving antagonistic responses, on the one hand they said it is "a genre in itself", and on the other hand they claimed that it is "like a film but with a different length." Patricia Ferreira, from the Film Academy, offers Cardoso a definition that summarizes what the short film is:

We have to consider the short film, first, as a specific format, where a particular story needs and should be expressed in a few minutes, in a similar way as in literature the short story is to the novel. Second, as a "training ground" for those wishing to access the difficult world of the long film. (Cardoso, 2011)

However, the short film is not a new format. To cite a famous example, in 1928 the director Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí as the screenwriter, filmed in France their acclaimed work entitled "Un Perro Andaluz", a silent short film that was shot in two weeks financed with money from a friend of the director who had won the lottery. This talented pair, relatively unknown at that time, wanted to do something to cause an impact on the audience. The scandal was an end for them, and they achieved it from the hand of surrealism. The difference of Buñuel and Dalí with actual young filmmakers has to do with production costs. Without using digital technology, making a short film and renting equipment can cost between 25 and 30 thousand euros. These costs can be greatly reduced replacing this technology by HD cameras and using a good editing program. The exponential growth of those who had the opportunity to do this type of work in 1989 led to the creation of the category of Best Short Film at the Goya Awards given by the Spanish Film Academy, which was born in 1986.

For Ceron (2002) the short film is the best and most affordable way to access the audiovisual production of fiction for anyone who, of course, has the sufficient knowledge to handle correctly the essential procedures and narrative codes. Accessing to adequate technical resources and reaching the minimum standards required for any short film is now easier than before. In this respect, digital technologies applied to filming and postproduction processes have been decisive, to the point that they become the best ally of the filmmaker who has no grants or financial resources. Therefore, the proposals of the new generation of filmmakers connect with a young audience, who has the same cultural references and to whom stories related to life experiences are narrated. The exhibition of short films in cinemas before the main movie starts is a practice that has almost disappeared, but it has been replaced by the broadcast of short films on television, the publishing of specialized collections on DVD, as well as Internet distribution and proliferation of short films festivals throughout Spain.

3. Analytical Framework

We are living in an era in which analysing the impact of visual products may be as important as the various forms of text reading (deciphering, decoding, interpreting... ) due to the remarkable influence of audiovisual works on society and because it configures the audiences and spectator's experience (the gaze, media consumption practices, visual pleasure). We believe that "performances are performative acts with communicative intentions and, as a natural discourse, they mobilize social relations." (Gámez, 2003: 74)

Although there is a broad analytical corpus to study the cultural impact of audiovisual discourse, in this study we will focus on the social actors' representation as described by Van Leeuwen (2008) to decipher how gender social conception is constructed by means of the influence of media consumption. Discourse may be defined as a social praxis and one of the means in which the ideologies are spread. These, in turn, are representations that a community shares to legitimise the power from one faction to another (van Dijk, 1999). Fairclough (2003) claims that discourse is a means through which power relations are exercised and spread. So, when examining it from a critical perspective, it is possible to interpret and explain such relations.

The social actor s representation proposed by van Leeuwen (2008) is related to Critical Discourse Analysis and examines the place that is assigned to persons both individually and collectively in a power system. To analyze how actors are represented within the discourse it is useful to establish the relationships of domination and resistance between different groups, and to know how dominant ideologies of hegemonic sectors are spread and maintained. Van Leeuwen (2008) compiled a "socio-semantic inventory" based on a system of networks with independent categories, which can be used for different objectives in the discursive analysis, according to the purposes of each researcher. This model is based on the "social actor" concept, with background in sociology and linguistics. The first category is termed Exclusion. It may be more or less evident, so it was divided into two subcategories, Supression, when social actors are not present within the discourse, and Backgrounding, when they are present, but in the background. Then, assigned roles to social actors are referred to. One category would be Activation, when it is presented as the action's performer, and Passivation, when the social actor is the acts' recipient. The following categories refer to whether social actors are represented in a specific or general way, and as individuals or as groups. In the latter case, an additional category is Aggregation, which is used to standardise practices and to establish agreements. The last category is Nomination, when actors are represented by means of a unique identity, with the assignment of a name, surname or both, depending on the context in which the discourse is performed. On the other hand, there is Categorization, when social actors are related with identities or roles which are shared with others.

4. Analysis

We selected 50 short films of fiction and animation awarded at Spanish festivals between 2009 and 2012 for analysis (See Appendix for the complete list of short films). We checked that during the three years of festivals there were approximately 150 short films awarded. For the sample to be statistically representative, we decided to analyze 50 works. In the process of selection, we chose fiction and animation short films since they reflect the imaginary worlds and ideology of directors and their teams. By contrast, documentaries were excluded from the sample due to their informative and aseptic nature, which moved away from the parameters of our research.

The short films analyzed last from two to thirty minutes and we excluded the films that last more than that. Another criterion for corpus selection was that apart from being awarded, the works were available on the Internet. We consider that using the Internet as a medium for dissemination is an alternative to the commercial strategies of the audiovisual industry, and so the works will show discourse in a different way. The films were downloaded by means of the video program DownloadHelper, an extension of Firefox which stores videos from the web in the computer. Then we converted the videos into MPG4 format using the program MPEG Streamingclip, the 1.9.2 version for Mac OSX. Once the videos were converted, we used the program IMovie of Mac to split sequences and carry out a viewing that allowed a more comfortable analysis of the videos. After that, the dialogues of the short films were transcribed so that we could use this data for further analysis of the corpus.

4.1 About the female exclusion in the productions

The amount of female characters is lower compared to the male characters counted in the short films analyzed. Of a total of 179 characters, 60.3% (108/179) were male, compared to 39, 6% (71/179) that were female. This means that the world is symbolized in the short film by more men than women, which clearly is a distortion of reality. This leads us to think that it is easier to interpret stories from the male character point of view that empathize with the audience. In 10% (5/50) of the short films analyzed, there is no female presence, which we might call total Exclusion versus no male absence in the same corpus. Van Leuween (1996) claims that each representation includes or excludes social actors that fit their interests and purposes in relation to target receptors. In this sense, some Exclusion would not leave traces in the representation, thus leaving with no mention neither the actor nor his activities. For this study we analyzed the Exclusion from those representations that have left a trail including the character, but without linking it to any kind of activity. This is what the author calls Backgrounding.

In the entire corpus there is a total of 179 characters, of which 118 were related to some type of activity: 65.2% (77/118) men versus 34.7% (41/118) women. The distributive tendency of this type of representation was 20% (10/50) of short films that mentioned only the activity of male characters, 6% (3/50) represented only the activity of female characters, and 26% (13/50) mentioned the activity of both sexes.

The data show that Backgrounding of female is higher than male, thus confirming that the goal of feminist films to "create other conditions of visibility for a different social subject" (De Lauretis, 1992) has not been achieved yet if we take these data as references of representation. From a conceptual standpoint, this problem of exclusion can be materialized through the Spanish neologism ginopia, which can be defined as:

Myopia or blindness to the feminine, not being able to see the women, and not perceiving their existence or their works; it is generally understood as a non-conscious omission, naturalized and almost automatic from the above, to the reality of women. We talk about "ginope" to qualify subjects, groups, or organizations that maintain an archaic practice or pattern of omission and exclusion in discourse and in practice to the reality of the feminine or women themselves. (Garcia, 2004: 2)

An example of this phenomenon occurs in the short film #18 "Las piedras no aburren", which is about an adventure of three children that found a mysterious suitcase in the river. In this work all the dialogues and actions take place in a world where women are not present and where all the referents are male. The same occurs in the short film #34 "Viejos perdedores" which narrates the return of a retired boxer who wants to fight again. In this

story, the only woman we see is the wife of one of the characters, who is not linked to any kind of activity, or whose personality is not mentioned.

Another parameter to measure the degree of Exclusion or Suppression has to do with the leading role of the characters. To define the role we will follow the definition of Arranz (2010: 81), who tells us that protagonists are the characters whose experience or journey is narrated:

Those who are the focus both of the plot and of the film device. Actants that serve as the main thread and center

of the story, the connection among the other characters. The protagonist usually takes the longest time on screen.

And, of course, the one who matters most emotionally to spectators.

In the 50 short films that make up our sample we identified 65 main characters, 49.2% (32/65) were men, 12.3% (8/65) were women and 20% (13/65) had a male and female co-star. With these data we can check another variable that indicates the differences on the representation of social actors, and following Arranz and Aguilar (2010), if the protagonist has more screen time and thereby is more likely to empathize with the audience, the Exclusion of women in such roles may be one reason for the underestimation of gender. The Backgrounding of certain social actors, in this case women, makes them not differ from each other through their actions or words, and when interpreting leading roles they do not require a personal trace. So, any woman would fulfil the same role in the stories, as they would be relegated to the indefinite and generic par excellence (Amoros, 1994). Therefore, in the mechanism of Backgrounding, there is nothing substantive to distribute as regards power or in terms of prestige or recognition, because the female world continues bordering on anonymity in the diegesis of the works. Thus, as Amoros (1994) stated, there is no sufficient evidence of discernibility to produce individuation, and therefore any woman could be dispensable over another one.

4.2 Roles assigned: Dynamic forces and recipients of the action on the short film

With regard to the management of semantic roles in discourse, and in particular of agentivity, it should be noted that in any process there are participants who play different roles in its realization. If the process consists in an action performed by a participant and which affects another participant, it is the agent who deliberately performs the action and therefore is responsible for it, whereas who is affected or changed by the action is the patient (Martin, 2006). The director of the short film can highlight the responsibility of a participant over the action (noting that it is the agent of that action) either by attenuating or even eliminating such responsibility.

This issue is crucial in the construction of discourse and representation of the character, since actions can be valued as socially negative (e.g. abusing, stealing, cheating) or positive (e.g. supporting, making an effort). In this way, representing a negative rating action and clearly identifying who is the agent of the action, will impact negatively on the image we have of that character, whereas if such liability is attenuated (without mentioning who is the agent), the image of that participant will not suffer in the same way. Similarly, omitting the agentivity of positive action will also impact the character image negatively, thus excluding it from such actions. For example, from an economic perspective, the main work traditionally done by women is usually related to the housework, care work, (both unpaid), work in casual sectors of economy such as subsistence farming, all them vital for the maintenance of society. When we talk about the world of work, the fallacy that unpaid work is a marginal part of the economy in absolute terms often emerges, but in 1995 the UN said that if work was remunerated, it would be 70 per cent of the world Gross Domestic Product. Because of its importance, feminist economics has named these labours "sustaining life".

Now, if we consider this aspect in our corpus, we can see that the representation of unpaid work is virtually invisible in the construction of discourse. Thus, reducing female responsibility in actions that involve maintaining the sustainability of life, and by eliminating these tasks in 94% (2/50) of the stories analyzed, we think a symbolic capital is being lost, which is important to value the contribution of women in society. In the same way, by centralizing commercial production and wage labour as the center of Western culture, male activity is made visible with positive values and is therefore assigned greater social value. In the short film # 5 "La historia de siempre" the home order is believed as a personal hobby of a woman who has just left her husband, rather than a value to maintain the health and dignity of someone who loved:

• Ex-husband: "Yes, I know that the room is a mess, but you don't mind, do you? It doesn't matter". (Our


From this sentence we can see that the fact that the woman is no longer with her husband implies that the environment in which he lives has lost the accustomed neatness. This habit is related to the idea of living together in a clean and orderly space and gives the woman the role of sustainability of life as an obligation rather than a value.

The centrality of commercial production is understood as the basic economic goal in our culture and cannot be attributed to the directors of short films. So we analyzed whether the role of women in this context corresponds to the insertion of women into the world of paid work, thereby quantifying the number of female characters who were portrayed as agents of a productive activity. In this regard we found that 18.5% of the women are represented in our corpus developing paid work, whereas 42.5% of male stand as agents in the workplace. If female characters are not represented within its classic role of sustainability of living or in the workplace, we then can confirm the phenomenon of exclusion or Backgrounding described by van Leuween (2008), in which the character is mentioned but not linked to any action.

4.3 Nomination and categorization: Unique identities and shared functions.

Nominalization is the representation of the social actor as its unique identity (van Leuween, 2008). This means that a character can be described being itself and without relating it to another person. As regards nominalization based on proper names, 40.7% (73/179) of the characters of the corpus have a name, of which 22.3% (40/179) are men and 18.4% (33/179) women. Having a name is important so as to have a subject condition and avoid the portrayal of the characters only from a symbolic point of view. According to González Martín (1982) the symbolic function consists in giving an idea a representation, whose symbolic level is generated on a level of convention and it refers to a manipulated, arbitrary and particular reality. In this way the stereotypical image of a character does not present someone by its name; in fact it does not matter whether that person exists or not. The aim is to symbolize a social concept about women, and therefore, about femininity. Thus, women may be a symbol of elegance, beauty or sweetness or, in other cases, of mystery, seduction and eroticism, but their names would not be relevant to the role they perform.

As for nominations performed through an affiliation and with the addition of terms of membership and personal relations, we found that the total number of female characters present in the corpus: 59.1% (42/71) are represented through an affiliation, whereas 34.2% (40/108) of male characters are nominated in relation to kinship. This fact is relevant because from a relational perspective of female characters, we can see that the important thing is to establish the existing relationship, especially with men. Thus, the categories of mother, wife, girlfriend, daughter, widow and grandmother, among others, are developed as the complement of an "other" who, as we have seen, usually revolves around a male character. Such performances have allowed the vision of a female identity that clings women to specific roles such as motherhood, the care of the home and the family. As Bourdieu (2000: 13- 14) puts it, a prolonged collective work of socialization of the biological and the biologization of the social has emanated a social naturalized construction and has become the natural foundation of the arbitrary division that lies at the beginning of reality and the representation of reality.

Molina et al. (1994) report that the black cinema of the forties represented images of women who were not constrained to the private spaces in which the heroines are not represented by the classic images of the home care and children. They were women without family references, usually with no past, independent and made for themselves. But these women were presented as evil, wicked females that led the hero to perdition. The author argues that the wickedness of these characters is derived from their artificial construction, which escapes from their destiny: (natural) as mother, as witch (who seduces) and as devouring (who kills).

As a counterpoint, van Leuween (2008) reports about the category of functionalisation, which is the representation of the characters according to the activity they perform. In this regard, we found that 42.5% (46/108) of the male characters are depicted from a position or a profession, whereas 18.9% (15/71) of female characters are represented in this area. This is also complemented by the analysis of agentivity within stories, in which we found

that male characters have active roles in society while women are subject to passive roles. With these results the theories of space distribution in the masculine world are confirmed: The masculine is the space of the construction of discourse, of public, of political, of ethical, of cultural and symbolic production, of discoveries, of science and philosophy. In short, the masculine is power. The feminine, on the other hand, is the private, closed, space of marriage, motherhood, the home life and domestic work. (Carnero, 2005: 61)

On this point, it is important to revisit the issue of the Exclusion of female characters mentioned above, as it adds and complements the fact that male characters are represented mostly from the functionality. Here, we highlight the reflections made by Garcia González (2008: 67) who says:

When in some movies we see men with social success and who have reached a recognized achievement and are considered important, this is usually shown as a single victory, obtained through the efforts and the ability of that person. In our society this situation is not real, as we always have some support that holds us throughout life.

In this respect, we might think that the world of the short film would not have to be an accurate reflection of reality and therefore, the criticism of the patriarchal model would not affect these representations. However, after our analysis, we can confirm that reality is the raw material of directors. They deal with issues such as the economic crisis, the old age, love, friendship, life in the city and a long list, that validates the fact that reality is present in these works. Fiction is present but it is contextualized in the experiences of contemporary Western society. That is why we think that the representations of social actors and gender differences analyzed in this study, are samples of reality and the concept of the world filmmakers have.

5. Conclusions

In our research we have found a high influence of patriarchal ideology in the short films analyzed. There is a tendency to prioritize the construction of the masculine over the feminine. This is reflected in a numerical superiority of male characters in the works and a majority of men playing leading roles. As for the representation of the characters, we have observed differences in the construction of their identities. The differences are shown in a more detailed description of the male characters, whereas the descriptions of female personalities show greater indeterminacy. Female characters are shaped to reflect their affiliation relationships as daughters, mothers or couples, but without going into other personal aspects of their lives. This means that there is a problem of representation in which inequality prevails. Although we are talking about fiction works, they are based on reality. In this world men are more represented than women, and their activities are diverse, while women are only relegated to interpersonal relationships. Such dominant ideology has an effect on the audience, who empathize with the main characters that have a richer world of experience and activities, thus promoting masculine closeness at the expense of the feminine.

In view of this, we can conclude that although access to new technologies can democratize the construction of discourse, this does not solve the problem posed by feminist films, as regards achieving some visibility in order to build a different social subject. Neither has this meant a change in the representation of ideologies, so we can say that access to the mechanisms of discourse construction requires a deconstruction of the work of classical performances of men and women, otherwise audiovisual content will be created following the classical model of patriarchal ideology.

Appendix A.

Table 1. List of Short films analysed

N° Title Year Director

1 Una segunda postguerra

2 Las cinco muertes de Ibrahim

2010 2010

Manuel Burgue Pablo Araües

Dime que yo Nacido y criado La historia de siempre Pulsiones Madagascar

Manual del amigo imaginario

Que divertido

El orden de las cosas

Aunque todo vaya mal

Mi amigo invisible

Tu amor

El cortejo



Los Ojos de Laia Las piedras no aburren La autoridad Te quiero Burocracia Niño balcón Elefante Ngutu

Ironías de la vida El hombre insensible Jesusito de mi vida No hay nadie Lone-illness 5 millones Puerta con puerta Juan con miedo Hipoteca basura Viejos perdedores Jaque Jocelyn

Amarillo Limón Leyenda

La tragedia del hombre hueco Figura

Porque hay cosas que nunca se olvidan

Zapping Life



The astronaut on the roof

2010 Mateo Gil

2010 Eelko Ferwerda

2010 José Luis Montecinos

2010 José Manuel Carrasco

2010 Bastien Dubois

2010 Ciro Altabás

2010 Natalia Mateo

2010 César y José Esteban Alenda

2011 Cristina Alcázar

2010 Pablo Larcuen

2010 Fernando Franco

2010 Marina Seresesky

2010 Enrique Sánchez

2010 Rosa Márquez

2011 Álex Rodrigo

2010 Marta Parreño

2010 Xavi Sala

2009 Sergi Portabella

2010 Rosa Márquez

2009 Pilar Palomero

2012 Pablo Larcuen

2012 Felipe del Olmo and Daniel Valledor

2012 Ignacio Sepúlveda

2011 Julio Mora y Jorge González

2009 Jesús Perez Miranda

2009 Jorge Dopacio & José Luis Vásquez

2011 Virginia Llera

2011 Víctor Díaz Somoza

2010 Ricardo Fernández

2010 Daniel Romero

2010 Javier Rodríguez de Fonseca

2010 Rubén Ordieres

2010 Iñaki Oribe

2010 Susan Béjar

2011 Felipe Garrido Archanco

2011 Pau Teixidor

2011 Jorge de Guillae

2011 Maxi Campo

2009 Lucas Figueroa

2010 Daniel Hernández

2010 Juan Irache

2010 Isaac Berrokal

2010 Sergi Portabella

46 Rott Har

47 Picnic

48 Una caja de botones

49 La victoria de Úrsula

50 Patas para Arriba

Alfonso Díaz Gerardo Herrero María Reyes Nacho Ruipérez Agustina Peña


Adelman (2005). Cómo se hace un cortometraje, Robinbook, Barcelona.

Althusser (1974). Ideología y aparatos ideológicos de Estado, Nueva Visión, Buenos Aires.

Arranz, and Aguilar (2010) Cine y género en España: una investigación empírica, Cátedra, Madrid, pp. 81.

Bourdieu (2000). La dominación masculina, Anagrama, Barcelona.

Cardoso (2011). El cortometraje español en 100 nombres: guía para entender el mundo del cortometraje, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 2011, pp. 15.

Carnero (2005). La condición Femenina desde el pensamiento de Simone de Beauvoir. A part Rei. Revista de Filosofía, 40, pp. 3. Castro Ricalde (2002). Feminismo y teoría cinematográfica. Revista del Centro de Estudios del Lenguaje 25, pp. 23-48. Cerón, G. and Calero (2002) Años de corto: apuntes sobre el cortometraje español desde los noventa, Primavera Cinematográfica de Lorca, Murcia.

Colaizzi (2001). Dones i cinema: dossier monográfic, Universitat de Barcelona. De Lauretis (1992). Alicia ya no: Feminismo, Semiótica, Cine; Cátedra, Madrid. Dijk van (1999). El análisis crítico del discurso, en Anthropos 186, Barcelona, pp. 23-36. Fairclough (2003). Analysing discourse: textual analysis for social research, Routledge, London. Gámez, F. (2003). Género, representación y medios: una revisión crítica. Asparkía 14, pp.74.

García, G. (2008). Clases de cine: compartir miradas en femenino y en masculino, Instituto de la Mujer, Madrid, pp. 67.

García, P. E. (2004). La inaceptable ginopia de la Coordinadora Democrática es crónica y grave. Tucumán: Colegio de Abogados. González,

M. (1982) Fundamentos para la teoría del mensaje publicitario, Forja, Madrid, 1982 Haskell (1975). From reverence to rape: the treatment of women in the movies, New English Library, London. Leeuwen, Van (2008). Discourse and Practice, Oxford University Press.

Martín, R.(2006). El análisis crítico del discurso. Fronteras y exclusión social en los discursos racistas, UOC, Barcelona. Molina, P., Amorós (1994). Dialéctica feminista de la ilustración, Anthropos, Dirección General de la Mujer, Barcelona. Mulvey, L. (1989). Placer visual y cine narrativo, Macmillan, London.

Rogers (2004). An Introduction to critical discourse analysis in education, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah NJ, London. Rosen (1973/ Popcorn Venus: women, movies & the American dream, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, and New York. Rubin, (1975). The Traffic in Women: Notes on the Political Economy of Sex, New York.