Cannes Market News - - NEWS -

THE MO­MEN­TUM that has been grow­ing to re­dress the bal­ance in gen­der in­equal­ity in film, can be seen here in Cannes this year, with a se­ries of ini­tia­tives aimed at both shed­ding light on the sit­u­a­tion and chang­ing it. In­deed. This year, there are only three films di­rected by women in com­pe­ti­tion at the Fes­ti­val de Cannes. Per­haps the most high-pro­file of these ini­tia­tives is the Kering Women In Mo­tion Talks, which are putting the spotlight on women work­ing in the film in­dus­try, and those who have made change. Speak­ers in­clude Geena Davis who is be­hind a se­ries of fe­male film­mak­ers ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing a fes­ti­val that she launched fo­cused on women in film. Also in Cannes, the “We Can Do It To­gether” film­maker ini­tia­tive seek­ing to em­power women though film, will hold a press con­fer­ence on Sun­day an­nounc­ing their first fea­ture. This non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion seeks to fi­nance and pro­duce con­tent that al­lows women to be cre­atively rec­og­nized, and to change the per­cep­tions of fe­male stereo­types within a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued on Wed­nes­day. Film­mak­ers in­volved in this or­gan­i­sa­tion, in­clude Jes­sica Chas­tain, Queen Lat­i­fah, Juli­ette Binoche, Freida Pinto, Ziyi Zhang, Cather­ine Hard­wicke, Alysia Reiner, Amma Asante, Marielle Heller, and Phil Lord. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives are also in town for the only fes­ti­val ded­i­cated to fe­male film­mak­ers in Chile – http://fem­cine.cl/ And on Tues­day May 17, there is a Women in Tech­nol­ogy ses­sion, with Hewlett Packard. The Trail­blaz­ers Rein­vent­ing the Art of Tech­nol­ogy ses­sion fea­tures the di­rec­tor of VR film Gi­ant, Mil­ica Zec, and Dream­works An­i­ma­tion’s Head of Tech­nol­ogy Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Strate­gic Al­liances Kate Swan­borg. And a num­ber of stud­ies are pre­sent­ing their find­ings.this in­cludes the Euro­pean Women’s Au­dio­vi­sual Net­work’s Study on Gen­der Equal­ity from 2006-2013. Sup­ported by Kering, the study, looked at seven Euro­pean ter­ri­to­ries and the lack of fe­male directors work­ing in the film in­dus­try. Some of the re­sults are as fol­lows. Only one in five films in the seven Euro­pean coun­tries stud­ied is di­rected by a woman (21%). The vast ma­jor­ity of fund­ing re­sources (namely 84%) go into films that are not di­rected by women. Low fund­ing per­pet­u­ates the scarcity of fe­male-di­rected films in cir­cu­la­tion, in turn af­fect­ing the mar­kets’ will­ing­ness to in­vest and thus creat­ing a vi­cious cir­cle. There is a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence between the pro­por­tion of fe­male directors grad­u­at­ing from film schools (44%) and the over­all pro­por­tion of fe­male directors work­ing in the in­dus­try (24%).

Liza Fore­man

by An­drea Arnold.

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