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Infographic: Cannes Women Filmmakers By the Numbers 2005-2015 #SeeHerNow

Infographic: Cannes Women Filmmakers By the Numbers 2005-2015 #SeeHerNow

In one week, the media and the film world will descend on the South of France for the annual Cannes Film Festival. The worldwide press attention will be staggering. As we know, much of the attention falls on the films in the main competition, which are given the red-carpet treatment.

As in the past, there are not enough women filmmakers on the final list for the main competition. After years of pressure, the festival is beginning to understand the central role it plays in the conversation on the lack of opportunities for female filmmakers. This year sees some progress. The festival was approached by Kering and together they are launching the Women in Motion program, a series of conversations and a dinner to highlight women. Four women will sit on the competition jury, while Isabella Rosellini will head Un Certain Regard and Sabine Azema the Camera d’Or. And for the first time in 28 years, the festival will open with a film directed by a womanEmmanuelle Bercot’s “La Tete haute,” starring Catherine Deneuve

But still, there seems to be some kind of lock on the door shutting out women from the main competition. Is there a perception that there are not “good enough” women out there? Do people who program the festival not feel comfortable with a female perspective and vision? I can’t answer that. All I know is that over the last decade, only 9% of the films in the main competition have been directed by women  (and this year’s opening film, directed by Ms. Bercot, is not in competition). Here’s a reminder that only one woman, Jane Campion, has ever been awarded the Palme d’Or, one of the highest honors in film. It was back in 1993, and she shared that with a male director. 

The festival clearly seems to feel more comfortable placing female-directed films in Un Certain Regard, the other competitive program, whose female participation stands at 17%.  

Women make up 50% of the world and, in the US, at least, comprise 50% of filmgoers. We know that Cannes is not the only problem, but it does illuminate a worldwide issue that continues to affect female filmmakers, where the higher you go in prestige and money, the less you see them. This must change.

Today, in honor of the Cannes Film Festival, we are launching a new coalition, Support Women Filmmakers, to take advantage of the media focus on Cannes and to make people aware of the terrific work women filmmakers (including directors, producers, editors, actors, composers and others) are contributing to our worldwide cinematic conversation. 

Getting involved is simple: 
1. Sign your name to our coalition here.
2. Follow the campaign on Twitter @seehernow
3. RT and use the #SeeHerNow to help us amplify the message regarding women in the film industry.

4. Join our thunderclap campaign and be a part of the unleashing a mass group tweet in support of female filmmakers next Wednesday as the Cannes Film Festival starts. 

Today, we launch the campaign with Women and Hollywood’s now annual infographic on women directors in Cannes. Please share this all over the world using #SeeHerNow. Remind people that there are amazing female filmmakers all across the world, and they should #SeeHerNow.

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joanna cassese

About time

Aurelie Harp

It is time for women to finally have equal access to opportunities, recognition and audiences in film and television. #proudtobeawomaninfilm

Rachel ward

The absense in Cannes begins with absence at home. Most TV series made for women viewers directed by men. Opportunity at home develops experience and skills to compete on the main stage. Until we make in raids there, Cannes will remain an impossible dream for most female directors.

Namita Kabilas

I agree and I am supporting the need for MORE females in movies (both filmmaker voices AND for a greater female presence onscreen! It is time to hear the voices of female filmmakers whatever messages they wish to project. As a female filmmaker myself, let us have more films for women in Hollywood too and let’s mske our stand in industry!

Cassidy Arkin

Speaking up… I support!!!

Denise Stasko

There are many talented Women Film Directors who should be recognized for their work and contributions in the film industry. It’s unfortunate to know in 1993 Jane Campion is the only Women Film Director awarded the Palme d Or Award and had to share this honor with a male director still..instead of being recognized independently. It’s time all women on society speak up and demand changes to be made for equality for all women film directors to be recognized for their quality work that is deserving of recognition. In today’s society, I would think we as a nation would have made this of happened all ready..Ladies speak up and let your voice be heard..


Sometimes we women to come together as women to boycott shut it down in a major way that would shake and wake them up to the reality I mean we as women don’t participate in ANYTHING that a woman makes a difference at doing in Hollywood and with that show of solidarity they don’t have a leg to stand on because Women have cut them off!!!

Marquise Lepage

Thank you for this initiative!

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