The biggest film festival on the calendar is making bold moves towards greater gender equality in its 72nd year, from the number of female directors whose films are being broadcast to the gender split on the juries.
Lebanese Director Nadine Labaki is now the first ever Arab president of the Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes
The countdown for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival is on as the industry event will take place in the French city between May 14th-25th.
And for the 2019 edition of the biggest film festival on the calendar, a staggering 1,845 feature films were submitted with the hope of being played across the three-day event, along with 4,240 short films, all from 39 different countries.
Remarkable as it may sound, those numbers aren’t out of the ordinary. But when it comes to the number of women making up the committees and directing the films this time around, those figures and statistics are worth talking about for 2019.
The Moves Cannes Film Festival is Making Towards Gender Equality in 2019
Setting the zeitgeist for what people will be watching, poring over and pondering over the next 12 months, the films that make it through those near-2000 entries carry extreme weight. Hence why it’s important to represent people of different genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, race, age and so forth.
While we’re not sure of all the facts and figures as of yet, we do know that steps have been made to ensure more female film directors will showcase their work at the annual event.
In fact for the first time the Festival has “methodically counted the female directors submitting their film for selection,” it states. The results? Feature films to be apart of the event directed by a woman stand at 26 per cent, while 32 per cent of short films and 44 per cent of the school of films submitted to the Cinéfondation – the foundation that supported film projects from young talent – are female.
As for those selected, the overall representation of females is 27 per cent. The break down in each category is as follows:
The Competition: 19 per cent with four female directors
Un Certain Regard: 42 per cent with eight female directors
Special Screenings: 27 per cent with three female directors
The Short Films Competition: 42 per cent with five female directors.
Film Festival Organisers
Of the 109 people in charge of organising the iconic event in Paris, and 66 of them are women. Once the festival commences, 46 per cent of the additional 865 staff members are women, making the overall percentage 48 per cent.
For 2019, gender balance is represented among the Cannes Film Festival Selection Committee. Four women – Virginie Apiou, Stéphanie Lamome, Guillemette Odicino and Marie Sauvion – make up the eight-person strong panel.
Earlier in the year, we revealed that Lebanese Director Nadine Labaki has made history with her appointment on the Cannes Film Festival Jury, thanks to her becoming the first Arab person to be granted the position of president of the Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes.
But how do the juries look in terms of gender quality for 2019? While the Short Films and Cinéfondation jury is made up of three males and one female, the other categories are all divided by gender equally.