The European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) is teaming up with Cannes’ “Women in Motion” program to host events highlighting women’s achievements in film at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Last year, Kering, a high-end luxury goods company, collaborated with Cannes to launch the “Women in Motion” program at the fest. Kering will participate in this year’s program as well, which “aims to support women involved in cinema, highlight their contribution and encourage greater awareness of the need for diversity in the film industry.”
Though the complete program has yet to be finalized, like last year, there will be a series of talks with high-profile actresses and Hollywood executives. This year, two new awards will honor women in film. One will be given to a woman who has made significant contributions to filmmaking, while the other will be given to one or multiple young female talents on the rise. One of the talks will focus on the EWA’s research findings from earlier this year. EWA’s study found that only one in five European films is directed by a women, or about 21% of all European films.
Cannes has a history of excluding women-directed projects in competition. Last year, Women and Hollywood founder Melissa Silverstein wrote, “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 [Cannes Film Festival] competition have been directed by women […] The festival clearly feels more comfortable placing women-directed films in Un Certain Regard, the other competition program, whose female participation stands at 17%.”
Cannes’ decision to ally itself with the EWA shows a positive step toward addressing industry inequalities brought to light by recent and past studies.
The Cannes Film Festival takes place next month from May 11 to May 22.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]