Cannes and Kering Team Up for 'Women in Motion' Program

Cannes Film Festival 2015 Official Poster - H 2015
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival 2015 Official Poster - H 2015

Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux will participate in a new series of public talks.

For the upcoming 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, French luxury holding company Kering will be teaming up with the fest to inaugurate a new “Women in Motion” program.

The initiative will include a series of talks on the place of women in the film industry and the way they are represented in movies. Leading female members of the film world will be on hand to discuss their careers and the role of women in cinema, engaging with the public during several conferences to take place on the Croisette.

Cannes festival topper Thierry Fremaux will be among those invited to participate. "The contribution of women to the film industry, whether on the screen or behind the camera, is both essential and precious," said Fremaux, who in recent years has been accused of bringing a very male-centric competition slate to the fest. He added: "The talks will be a unique occasion for the profession to progress in its reflection on the necessary evolution of how women are represented in the stories they tell and within the industry they work in."

Starting in 2016, Kering and Cannes will also be presenting two "Women in Motion" prizes. One will be awarded to a woman who has made a significant and lasting contribution to cinema; the other prize will go to a young female filmmaker recognized for her directing talents. For this year’s festival, an honorary prize will be awarded at a ceremony to be attended by Fremaux and Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault.

Speaking about the new initiative, Pinault, whose multi-billion dollar French conglomerate owns such brands as Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, remarked that "the artistic sensibility of women and the specificity of female-driven narratives are an integral part of the seventh art. The ‘Women in Motion’ program not only aims to honor the talent of women in cinema, but also to emphasize the interest that their works hold for the audience."

The Kering group has previously funded films like Yann-Arthus Bertrand’s roving 2009 environmentalist documentary, Home, while backing such cinema-related projects as producer-director Luc Besson’s Ecole de la Cité film school in the northern suburbs of Paris.

The 68th Cannes Film Festival runs from May 13-24.