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New Horizons after Cannes 2018

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

New Horizons after Cannes 2018

During this year's Festival, we have witnessed major steps to denounce the imbalance women have to face in the film industry. Eighty-two women including Cate Blanchett and Ava DuVernay marched up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival to protest gender inequality at the festival and in the wider film industry.

We saw Cannes' leaders sign pledge to improve gender equality, The pledge was drawn up by the French gender-parity group 50/50 by 2020, which brought in other groups including Time's Up. There is clearly a strong momentum to increase opportunities for women in film, to work together to thrive for change. The 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival has been quite remarkable regarding the number of awards the films directed by women received, despite their low ratio in the official competition.

This year, we had the pleasure to see at least a small number of female-helmed films receiving awards. Nadine Labaki received the Jury Award for Capharnaüm, Alice Rohrwacher ex-aequo best script for Lazzaro Felice. At Un Certain Regard, Meryem Benm'Barek received the Best Screenplay award for Sofia and The Death and the Others co-directed by Renée Nader Messora achieved the Jury Award. One Day, directed by Zsófa Szilagyi, was chosen by the Fipresci jury as best movie in either Directors' Fortnight or Critics' Week. Sir by Rohena Gera received the Gan Foundation Award for its distribution at Critics' Week. The prize for the best short film at Critics' Week went to Hector Malot – The Last Day Of The Year (aka Ektoras Malo : I Teleftea Mera Tis Chronias) by Greek director Jacqueline Lentzou. Ewa Network had the privilege to attend several discussions about women's undervalued presence in film industry and how to change this.

Friday 11 May

"Wonder Women getting out of the corset"

Ada Solomon, EWA's president, moderated the debate "Wonder Women getting out of the corset" where thirteen women, representatives from European film funds, production companies and ministries of culture, were discussing the current situation in their countries, exploring new initatives envisaged to promote equal rights for women in the film industry and Discussing new policies to reduce gender imbalance for women creators.

The event was hosted by Osnat Bukofzer Curator/ Director, Co-production initiative panels of the Israel Pavilion. Initiative supported by The Rabinovich Foundation – Cinema Project.

Nicole Ackermann - Chair of the Board, WIFT Germany, Iris Zappe-Heller - Deputy Director of the Austrian Film Institute and in charge of gender and diversity issues, Valerie Creighton, President, and CEO - Canada Media Fund; Cristina Priarone - Direttore Generale Roma Lazio Film Commission, Vice Presidente IFC Italian Film Commissions, c/o Luce Cinecittà; Pandora da Cunha, founder of the Portuguese production company UKBAR FILMES; Kristina Börjeson – Head of film funding, SFI; Pavlina Zipkova – Head of Czech Film Commission; Edith Sepp – CEO Estonian Film Institute/ Ziv Naveh CEO & Artistic Director; Sharon Shamir VP Content, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, Israel, Julie Billy - Producer at Haut et Court co-founder of Le Deuxième Regard, France,  Barbara Fränzen - Head of Film Department - Federal Chancellery of Austria; Hlin Johannesdottir, Producer and Head of the Icelandic Film- and TV Academy were the participants.

Saturday 12 May

"Working for Change. Filmmaking in the New landscape".

Moderated by Andrea Reuter with Kristina Börjeson (SFI), Kate Ree Davies, director of Alliance of Women Directors (UK/US) , Adrian Politowski, CEO of uMEDIA (US/Belgium) and Steve Gaydos, Vice-President and Executive Editor of Variety.

This panel discussed how men and women can work in tandem to create change and achieve 50/50. Filmmakers in the audience joined to discuss their vision and national strategies for gender equality.

Sunday 13 May

Informal gathering of mentors and mentees of EWA's mentoring scheme at the Serbian pavillon.

"Take Two - Next moves for me too".

Salon des Ambassadeurs. Franco/Swedish event with the French (Françoise Nyssen) and Swedish Ministers of Culture (Alice Bah Kuhnke) and other guests.
It was a dynamic and engaging expression by high-level female politicians in France and Sweden to bring about change, followed by a keynote speech by the author of the inclusion rider, Dr Stacey Smith,  and then a panel moderated by Melissa Silverstein with the director Aida Begic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Cameron Bailey (Co-Head of the Toronto Film Festival), Bahar Pars (actor, member of #tystnadtagning), Stacy L. Smith (Founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California), and Anna Serner (CEO - Swedish Film Institute).



Monday 14 May.

"Gender equity in the audiovisual sector in Europe and the USA: who is leading the struggle?"

The French movement 5050x2020, teamed up with the CNC to host a round-table where audiovisual profesionnals shared their experiences, good practices and inspiration on the subject, moderated by French directors Céline Sciamma and Rebecca Zlotowski. The debate, which was introduced by the French Minister of culture Françoise Nyssen as well as European Comissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel, shed light on the recent movements for gender equity in the audiovisual sector and ended up with Festival de Cannes signinig the pledge for greater Gender Equality (to compile statistics according to gender, including the number of films submitted, to identify the members of selection committees and programmers, make a commitment schedule to achieve parity on their board)

Next steps in the fight for greater inclusion in the film industry.

Irish Pavilion, Pavilion 131, Village International.
Iris Zappe-Heller - Gender Issues, Austrian Film Institute, Austrian representative to Eurimages where she chairs the Gender Working Group
Lizzie Francke - Senior Production & Development Executive at the BFI Film Fund
Annabelle Sheehan - CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission
Lwazi Manzi - Co-Chair- Independent Producers Organisation; Council Member: South African Screen Federation; Board Member South African Film Academy

EWA Network was represented by Francine Raveney who did an update on EWA Network.

EWA/Serbian Networking drinks at the South-East European Pavilion.

EWA's traditional networking drinks was co-organised this year with our friends from the Film Center Serbia.