Film Industry Women's Groups Team Up for Cannes Event

Cannes Poster 2016
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Women in Motion and the European Women's Audiovisual Network join forces for festival talks.

The European Women's Audiovisual Network (EWA), which promotes the role of women in the film industry, is teaming up with the Cannes' Women in Motion to help enrich its program.

EWA concentrates on researching and publicizing statistics demonstrating the challenges women face in pursuing careers in the film industry.

A major study across seven European countries published by the group earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival found "significant under-representation of female directors in all stages of the production and distribution process."

The report, backed by universities and national film centers across Europe, claimed that only one in five films had a female director (21 percent) and that 84 percent of publicly funded film resources go to men.

Women in Motion, which is supported by French luxury holding company Kering, highlights women's achievements in film and encourages more diversity within the industry. Kering owns brands that include Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.

This year's second edition of the program at Cannes features a series of recorded talks with high-profile talent and execs. Last year speakers included Isabella Rossellini, Salma Hayek and Isabelle Huppert.

Francine Raveney, head of PR for EWA, told The Hollywood Reporter that the program with Women in Motion was yet to be finalized but would include a focus on the research report's findings in one of the talks she would moderate.

Two new awards will also be handed out May 15 at the Cannes' festival Presidential Dinner, hosted by Pierre Lescure, festival president,artistis director Thierry Femaux and Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault — one to a woman who has had a lasting contribution to cinema, the other to one or several young female talents.

In recent years, the Cannes festival has been criticized for a lack of women directors in its competitive programs and, following an incident that erupted in 2015, for insisting that women wear high-heeled shoes at red carpet events.

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