Women of the 7th art triumph during the 4th edition of Women in Motion
In this edition, the Women in Motion Award went to American filmmaker Patty Jenkins, while the Young Talent Award went to Catalan director Carla Simón.
Carey Mulligan, Chris Lee, Z. Tao, Vivian Qu, Salma Hayek Pinault, Emilia Clarke and Aïssa Maïga shared their experiences and perspectives on the representation of women in cinema.
More than 300 guests from the world of cinema and media were welcomed during the Women in Motion Talks. This new season opened with a Talk in the presence of actress Carey Mulligan, who spoke about the stereotype of the perfect woman that actresses are required to portray on the big screen: "It is very rare on the screen that a woman interprets an imperfect character. Women are somehow censored. (...) I have interpreted characters from novels with reprehensible behavior. The scenes that were shot were cut at editing. When I asked why they had disappeared, I was told, 'the public doesn’t like it when women are not so nice.' ..." She also stressed the importance of discussion and solutions that should emerge from it. "It's good that there are debates, but it's even better when they give rise to concrete actions", citing the example of the Royal Court Theatre in London which puts into place a charter of good conduct, signed by the entire team.
In a Talk focusing on the China market and moderated by Vogue China Editor-in-Chief Angelica Cheung, Vivian Qu, Director, Screenwriter, Producer and a key figure in the circle of Chinese independent film, underlined the importance of judging directors on their work rather than their gender: “There are certainly differences between female and male directors, but we cannot generalise and say women have certain qualities and men have others. I think a good director is someone who has a modern outlook, who respects women in their films instead of working with them as props. I think being a good director has nothing to do with gender.” Also joining the Talk, singer and actress Chris Lee spoke to the importance of widening the type of roles portrayed by women in cinema. A thought echoed by fellow speaker and singer Z. Tao: “I think women should be themselves, do what they like, and insist doing so."
In the wake of the historic climbing of the stairs by the 82 women filmmakers in which she participated, actress and producer Salma Hayek Pinault praised the realization that has come true over the past year. "Things have already changed because people think differently. They ask themselves the most important questions. And we look with a new eye at all the evidence from the past about which nobody reacted before. The debate that has been opened remains crucial and must continue.” A woman committed for many years to the cause of women, especially through the Kering Foundation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Salma Hayek Pinault emphasized the importance of men's engagement alongside women in this cause.
During a captivating speech, actress Emilia Clarke asked that female characters be described in the same way as the male characters: "I do not want to talk about 'strong women' anymore. Let's just be women. I can talk to you about how it feels to play a woman's role. Period. I play women's roles, that's all. If they are not strong, how are they? Are there other possibilities? Actually it frustrates me enormously. Especially because I'm never asked questions about "strong men" unless they are physically!” Emilia Clarke also insisted on the need to provide women with platforms for speaking out, but also on the establishment of a stricter legal framework: "Contractual obligations on equal treatment in the workplace would now be the most promising element for positive change."
The fourth edition of the Women in Motion Talks ended with the actress Aïssa Maïga speaking about the issue of racism suffered by black women in cinema. For her, the women's freedom of speech movement that began in 2017 and came from America, must be able to continue in France: "It is true that there are a lot of things that come to us from the United States. They have a long black militant tradition and a long feminist militant tradition. After, I think we the French really have a strong voice to be heard because we live a reality that is different. We have other challenges. (...) Indeed, they are sources of inspiration, but I believe a lot in French creativity, from the point of view of overcoming obstacles and rejections.” In addition, she encouraged the different feminist movements to meet in order to muster up all the necessary force to fight inequality: "There are bridges to build. [...] I feel ready to talk to women who are very different from me, who adopt points of view and ways of life that are contrary to what I want for myself, but I think it’s very important.” That same evening, Aïssa Maïga climbed the stairs alongside the other fifteen black actresses who wrote in the collective book Being black is not my job, about their difficulty to be considered otherwise than in roles that are too often second-rate and stereotypical.
The official Women in Motion dinner was held on Sunday May 13, at Place de la Castre, on the heights above Cannes. Under the eyes of 200 guests, the American filmmaker Patty Jenkins was awarded the Women in Motion Award by François-Henri Pinault, Pierre Lescure et Thierry Frémaux. Actress Salma Hayek Pinault honored the Catalan director Carla Simón with the Young Talent Award, and with financial support of 50,000 euros for a film project.
Among the dinner guests were actresses Isabelle Huppert, Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux, Golshifteh Farahani, Laetitia Casta, Claudia Cardinale, Chiara Mastroianni, Chris Lee, Anaïs Demoustier, Cécile Cassel, Chloë Sevigny, Virginie Ledoyen and Clémence Poésy, along with the actors Vincent Perez, Pierre Deladonchamps, Matt Dillon, Z. Tao and Laurent Lafitte. Kering and the Cannes Film Festival also welcomed women directors Agnès Varda, Ava DuVernay, Lisa Azuelos, Rebecca Zlotowski, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Valérie Donzelli and Vivian Qu, as well as directors Costa-Gavras, Robert Guédiguian, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Christopher Nolan and Ronald Chammah. The creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, the CEOs of Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, Francesca Bellettini and Marco Bizzarri, as well as the models Aymeline Valade, Anja Rubik and Charlotte Casiraghi were also present.
About Women in Motion, a Kering initiative
Women in Motion's ambition is to highlight the contribution of women to the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. Launched in May 2015 by Kering in partnership with the Festival de Cannes, Women in Motion is an integral part of the Festival's official program, and is active around the world through a variety of events. This initiative is based on two fundamental actions: its Talks, which are open to journalists and film professionals, enable leading personalities including Jodie Foster, Diane Kruger, Robin Wright, Salma Hayek Pinault, Juliette Binoche, Chloe Sevigny, Agnès Varda and Frances McDormand, to compare their experiences and views on the issue of women's contribution to cinema, and also to share their recommendations for the advancement of women’s representation in the industry. The Women in Motion Awards, two awards given each year, one to an inspirational figure who embodies the values of the program, and another to a promising name in cinema who also receives financial support for future film projects.
A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Maisons in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry and Watchmaking: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Tomas Maier, Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, as well as Kering Eyewear. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Maisons to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow's Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination.” In 2017, Kering had nearly 29,000 employees and pro forma revenue of €10.823 billion.
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