“Women’s contribution to the film industry, be it on screen or behind the camera, is essential and invaluable. By putting this topic on the agenda, we hope to work toward greater recognition of their work and input to cinema. The Women in Motion will be an integral part of the festival’s program and this is meant to give additional prominence to the talented women of film and their outlook on cinema.” (Thierry Fremeaux general delegate of Cannes Film Festival)
Entering a new Era, the Cannes Film Festival and its general delegate Thierry Fremaux are joining forces with Kering, François-Henri Pinault’s French luxury powerhouse, to launch Women in Motion.
Conceived by Kering to highlight women’s achievements in film, Women in Motion will host a series of talks with high-profile talent and execs, as well as hand out two awards during the upcoming 68th Cannes film festival, which will mark Pierre Lescure’s inaugural year as president.
Hosted as morning sessions throughout the fest, the talks will deal with issues such as women’s status, their representation within the industry and the ways in which women characters are portrayed onscreen. The Women in Motion talks will also examine how female directors approach storytelling.
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.”
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.
The two awards will be handed out during a presidential dinner on May 17 hosted by Lescure, Frémaux and Pinault.
Lescure said “‘Women in Motion’ was opening another chapter in the history of the Festival de Cannes and paving the way for the cinema of tomorrow, enriched by a greater variety of points of view and by the diversity of films.”
The former boss of pay TV giant Canal Plus and a well-respected industryite, Lescure also pointed out the “initiative perfectly corresponds to the new momentum we wish to give the competition: by exchanging views, supporting talent and honoring key figures and significant works, it reflects the values of beauty, progress and artistic and social ambition that have underpinned the Festival since its creation.”
A long-gestated project, Women in Motion has been carefully planned by Louise Beveridge, Kering’s head of communications, who had a successful career in the investment banking world before joining Kering in 2011 and who is committed to advancing women’s status in film. Beveridge enlisted the help of former CNC president Eric Garandeau, among other industry figures, to put together the initiative.
Kering is no stranger to women’s issues. Through the Kering Foundation, the group has supported more than 140,000 women around the world via partnerships with NGOs and social entrepreneurs. The company has also partnered with Gucci’s Chime for Change campaign to fight against violence toward women.
Kering has also built bridges with the film community over the years. It’s been involved in various films, such as Sherry Hormann’s “Desert Flower”, Yann-Arthus Bertrand’s “Home”, Cecilia Peck’s “Brave Miss World” and the upcoming Luc Jacquet movie “Ice and Sky”. The company has also supported the Tribeca Film Institute in New York, Britdoc in London, LACMA and Fremaux’s Lumière Festival in Lyon.