Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Chief to Speak during First 'Women in Motion' Programme

Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Chief to Speak during First 'Women in Motion' Programme

Article excerpt

Cannes Film Festival general delegate Thierry Frémaux will tackle the controversial topic of women and film during this year's edition, as one of the first participants in a new female-focused programme called 'Women in Motion'.

The programme – a joint initiative between the festival and its new sponsor, the luxury goods group Kering – will feature a series of talks on women and film as well as an award celebrating talented women in the industry.

The talks will discuss a wide-range of topics related to women and film, including women's status, representation within the profession and on screen, the nature of their narrative points of view and their perspective behind the camera, said the festival and Kering in a joint statement.

Frémaux will be one of the first high-profile guests at the inaugural edition of the talks. The full list of speakers will be announced closer to the festival.

Talking about his involvement, Frémaux said: "Women's contribution to the film industry, be it on screen or behind the camera, is essential and invaluable. By putting this topic on the agenda, we hope to work towards greater recognition of their work and input to cinema."

"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," he added.

Cannes has come under increasing criticism in recent years over the low representation of female directors in its Official Selection. Jane Campion remains the only woman to have won Cannes' top prize with The Piano in 1993, since the festival's creation in 1939.

Although acknowledging that the poor representation of women in the film industry at large was an issue that should be tackled, Frémaux has always been reluctant to discuss the subject in the context of Cannes.

Awards

Monday's announcement also gave details of two new "Women in Motion' awards, due to be launched in 2016. Under the plans, one prize will be awarded to an "iconic" female cinema figure, who in turn will select a young female filmmaker whose talent deserves recognition and support.

To celebrate the creation of the new honours, an exceptional special award will presented at a Cannes presidential dinner on May 17.

Kering's role

Paris-based Kering said in the statement that the 'Women in Motion' initiative was in keeping with its existing commitment to women's causes, including the Kering Foundation's campaign to combat violence against women. …

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