Magazine article Variety

Fest Turns Spotlight on Gender Equality

Magazine article Variety

Fest Turns Spotlight on Gender Equality

Article excerpt

THE BFI LONDON Film Festival opens Oct. 7 with "Suffragette," the story of the Brit women who fought for equal rights to vote a century ago. It is clear, though, that when it comes to gender equality in the filmed entertainment industry, much is still to be achieved.

On Oct. 8, the festival hosts the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media's Global Symposium, which will look at

gender equality in the movie biz and the portrayal of women in film. "We were keen to amplify the focus that having 'Suffragette' as an opening night film enabled us to do over the broader issues to do with women in front of and behind the camera," says festival director Clare Stewart. "The symposium enables us to cast a strong light on considerations around the roles and representation of women and girls in film."

Films fail to reflect the world around us, says Davis, who will speak at the symposium. "Our research has shown that on a global front that female characters are only 30.9% with only 10% having gender-balanced casts," she tells Variety.

"Increasing the number of female decision makers and content creators is key. Our research has shown that when there is the presence of a female director there was a 6. …

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