Magazine article Variety

Bening: ‘Be Sharp, Shrewd’

Magazine article Variety

Bening: ‘Be Sharp, Shrewd’

Article excerpt

Annette bening, in Venice to preside over the film festival's competition jury, said Wednesday at the festival's opening press conference that female filmmakers needed to concentrate on making movies with broad appeal in order to raise their profile in the industry

Asked to comment on the dearth of female directors represented in the competition - only one of the 21 films is in competition is helmed by a woman - the American actress said she "didn't count the number of films that were directed by women. ... I didn't approach it that way"

But, she added, "as women, we have to be sharp, shrewd and creative in what we choose to make. Sexism does exist and there is no question about it. But things are changing. The more we can make films that speak to everybody, the more we will be regarded as filmmakers."

She added that she knew a lot of filmmakers who are struggling to get their movies made "whether they are men or women."

Bening, who spoke alongside festival director Alberto Barbera, is the first woman to preside over Venice's competition jury since 2006. At one point, she asked Barbera how many movies he had watched to come up with the selection. Upon his reply that 2,000 films had been viewed, Bening laughed: "Wow, I can't imagine what it would be like!"

The actress acknowledged that there was still a long way to go to achieve gender parity and not just in the film world. She said she had just visited the Venice Biennale, where she discovered the work of a woman who was listed as a feminist artist. …

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