Over the years, the Cannes Film Festival has developed a reputation for not including enough women directors. The years 2010 and 2012 saw no female filmmakers in competition, and only one woman helmer, Jane Campion, has won the Palme d’Or, the festival’s top prize (which she shared).
Now Cannes and the French luxury brand Kering are partnering to highlight women’s contributions to cinema. Its 68th iteration, which will take place at May 13-24, 2015, will witness the launch of Women in Motion, a new program that will host a series of talks with artists and executives about women’s status and representation in the film world and hand out a pair of awards starting in 2016.
According to Variety, “The first award will honor a prominent industry figure — regardless of gender — who has significantly contributed to the cause of women. The prizewinner will choose the recipient of the second award, which will go to an up-and-coming female director. Women in Motion will then support one of the projects of this young filmmaker.”
Said Cannes leader Thierry Fremaux, “The Women in Motion talks, for which I am delighted to be one of the first participants, will also provide the profession with a unique opportunity to further discussions about the necessary advancement of the representation of women and their stories within the film industry.”
The new initiative is reportedly backed by Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault. His wife, Salma Hayek, is an outspoken feminist herself, but so far there is no word on her involvement with the program.
We hope that having women on the brain will encourage Mr. Fremaux to include more women directors in his official programming.