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Germany: Production company Ufa is committed to more diversity


POTSDAM. The film company Ufa has decided to pay more attention to diversity in front of and behind the camera. In the future, among other things, more people with a migration background, disabled people and members of the LGBTQ community will be involved in the company's productions. Ufa imposes this self-commitment because it is a “mirror image of society”, explained managing director Nico Hofmann to Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Ufa has founded an internal “Diversity Circle”, which consists of several coordinators, according to the production company's website. These are godparents for the various minority groups. One of their tasks is, for example, to ensure that the supposedly disadvantaged people are sufficiently heard in the company.

Resolutions should not restrict creativity
In future, disabled people, people of foreign origin and LGBTQ supporters will be represented in the Potsdam company according to their share of the total population. For this purpose, Ufa is based on the federal government's census.

When asked whether creativity was still possible when a long list of diversity criteria had to be ticked off, Hofmann admitted that he himself was not a friend of “dictates that restrict freedom of expression”. He also rejects regulations on how figures should be depicted. The resolutions of his company, however, only concern "the material, the cast in front of and behind the camera and the treatment of employees".

Diversity creates Justice
Minorities are often portrayed as cliché. This is why stereotypical narratives now have to be questioned and “restrictive role models overcome” , explains the company on its site. "With our decision to portray diversity as normal in our stories, we are making these voices heard and creating nothing less than a fairer world," said the head of Ufa's partner company "Panthertainment", Tyron Ricketts.

The "Ufa Serial Drama" managing director Joachim Kosack pointed out the responsibility of the production company to serve as a role model with creative means. “We have to resolutely oppose discriminatory tendencies, set appropriate topics and make them visible in our programs. At Ufa, diversity is an absolute prerequisite for any kind of creativity, ”affirmed Kosack.

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