Gong Li Set for Kering's Women in Motion Prize During Cannes Film Festival

The May 19 black-tie awards program always features an A-list roster of festival guests and boldface names, including Salma Hayek, husband Francois-Henri Pinault, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux.
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Gong Li

For the past four years, one of the most exclusive invitations during the Cannes Film Festival is the Women in Motion Awards dinner, a black-tie gala honoring the contributions of female filmmakers and A-list stars. This year, the event — an official partnership of Kering and the festival — will shine a light on the contributions of iconic Chinese star Gong Li and rising German director Eva Trobisch. 

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, Pierre Lescure, president of the Festival de Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, festival general delegate, will have the honor of presenting the prizes during the dinner Sunday. 

For Li, an actress whose career spans four decades, the honor comes ahead of her starring role in Disney's live-action film Mulan, directed by Niki Caro and set for release in March 2020. She has already made her mark in Cannes, having starred in Zhang Yimou’s Grand Prix winner To Live and Chen Kaige’s Palme d’Or-winning Farewell My Concubine.

In a release announcing the Women in Motion news, she said, "The love and respect of the audience give us actresses wings, give us the relentless force to pursue our path. It is a true honor for me to receive the Women in Motion Award. Making films is fundamental in my life, and I am most grateful to be able to continue to share my work and my passion."

Receiving the Young Talents Award this Sunday will be Trobisch, who made her directorial debut on the 2018 film All Good. The award supports rising talents and comes with a cash prize. “Being a woman is sometimes incredible, and sometimes exhausting. Making this film was incredible and sometimes exhausting. Receiving this award is simply incredible," Trobisch said. 

Las year's Young Talents winner, Carla Simón, selected Trobisch to take the stage here, saying that All Good "will stay with me forever. It’s one of the most realistic portrayals of sexual assault that I’ve ever seen. It’s deep, touching, respectful, it raises questions, it makes you reflect and it’s told with great intelligence. The actors' performances are absolutely extraordinary, especially the one by Aenne Schwarz, which is subtle and full of nuances. Eva Trobisch has a special sensitivity for human understanding, she’s a filmmaker that I really want to follow.”

The duo join a list of previous Women in Motion honorees including Jane Fonda, Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon, Isabelle Huppert, Leyla Bouzid, Gaya Jiji, Ida Panahandeh, Maysaloun Hamoud, Simón and Patty Jenkins.