Cannes Film Festival: Where Are The Women Directors?

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Cannes Film Festival: Where Are The Women Directors?

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Women and Hollywood started this petition to Juror Nanni Moretti and

(version française en bas / French version below)

To the Jurors of the Cannes Film Festival

You will spend the next 11 days watching 22 films that the programmers and leaders of the Cannes Film Festival deemed to be the worthiest of this year's competition. 

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious festivals in the world.  Festival Films including last year's Oscar winner The Artist have gone on to have long and successful lives, and filmmakers' careers have been launched on the Croisette.  As we all know, the opportunities to have your film seen on a world stage is invaluable.

For the 2012 edition, as with the 2010 edition, there are NO FEMALE DIRECTED FILMS in competition, and in the 64 years of the Festival only one woman -- Jane Campion -- has been awarded the Palme D'Or.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux responded to the recent manifesto from La Barbe - a French feminist action group - which decried the lack of women by saying:

 "I select work on the basis of it actual qualities. We would never agree to select a film that doesn’t deserve it on the basis it was made by a woman…There is no doubt that greater space needs to be given to women within cinema. But it’s not at Cannes and in the month of May that this question needs to be raised, but rather all year and everywhere."

We call for Cannes, and other film festivals worldwide to commit to transparency and equality in the selection process of these films. We judge films as human beings, shaped by our own perspectives and experiences. It is vital, therefore, that there be equality and diversity at the point of selection. 

Mr. Fremaux is correct in stating that women's rights must be addressed year round.  We, the undersigned, encourage an industry-wide discussion about this issue, and call on the leaders throughout the industry to participate in and contribute to a dialogue about how we can, to quote Mr. Fremaux, "create a greater space for women within cinema."


Melissa Silverstein, Women and Hollywood

Gloria Steinem

Robin Morgan

Eve Ensler

Delia Ephron, Writer

The Sisterhood is Global Institute

Julie Burton, The Women's Media Center

Debra Zimmerman, Women Make Movies

Gayle Nachlis, Women in Film

Terry Lawler, New York Women in Film and Television

Petrina D'Rozario, Women in Film India

Susi Newborn, WIFT NZ  

Cheryl Eagan-Donovan, Women in Film New England

Eileen Hoeter, Vancouver Women in Film

Ana Tiwary, WIFT- NSW

WIFT, Sweden

Jennifer L. Pozner, Women In Media & News

Alexandra Georgi, Women in Film and TV/ Germany

Athena Film Festival

IWFF - Dortmund/Cologne

Kelly Davis, St. John's International Women's Film Festival

Maggie Keiley, St. John's International Women's Film Festival

Sarah Smellie, St. John's International Women's Film Festival

Antonella Estevez, FEMCINE, Chile's Women Film Festival

Paula Alves, Femina - International Women's Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro

The Women in the Picture Association – Israel

The International Women's Film Festival Rehovot, Israel

Victoria Goodyear, Australian Directors Guild

Tara Johnson-Medinger, The Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival

Ema Filimoto - Australian Directors Guild

Sue Parrish, Sphinx Theatre Company

Jaclyn Friedman, Women, Action & the Media!

Stacy Codikow, POWER UP

Julie Parker Benello, Chicken & Egg Pictures

Wendy Ettinger, Chicken & Egg Pictures

Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures

Martin Blankemeyer, Munich Film Society

Christa Aretz, FilmInitiativ Köln, Germany

Réalisatrices Équitables

German association of filmclubs and public cinemas 

Guerilla Girls

Cath Le Couteur,  Shooting People

Isha L'Isha - Haifa Feminist Center


Gillian Armstrong, Director

Susanna White, Director

Rachel Ward, Director

Dee Rees, Director

Darla Anderson, Producer

Lisa Cortes, Producer

Doris Doerrie, Director

Ava DuVernay, Writer/Director

Ry Russo-Young, Director

Abigail E. Disney, Fork Films

Gini Reticker, Director

Shana Feste, Director

Jamie Babbit, Director

Aviva Kempner, Director

Donna Deitch, Director

Katherine Dieckmann, Writer/Director

Cheryl Dunye, Writer/Director

Pratibha Parmar, Director

Neema Barnette, Director

Julie Dash, Director

Paola Mendoza, Director

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Hotwire Productions

Emily Abt, Director

Angela Robinson, Director

Beth Murphy, Director

Katie Galloway, Director

Barbara Hammer, Director

Antonia Bird, Diretor

Havana Marking, Director

Melanie Mayron, Actor/Director

Joanna Kerns, Director

Clare Kilner, Director

Kerthy Fix, Director

Alexis Krasilovsky, Professor; Writer/Director

Inge Claassen Editor

Sophie Maintingneux, Cinematographer

Maria Maggenti, Screenwriter

Jill Soloway, Writer/Producer

Alix Madigan, Producer

Ted Hope, Producer

Julia Jordan, Writer

Sara Paretsky, Writer

Shere Hite, Writer

Lana Wachowski, Writer

Sally Hawkins, Actor

Sasha Alexander, Actor

Sharon Lawrence, Actor

Kathy Najimy, Actor

Kim Delaney, Actor

Marion Rosenberg, Women in Film Board (LA)

Nancy Rae Stone, Women in Film Finishing Fund (LA)

Mary Yoel- Women in Film Board (LA)

Ghen Laraya, Women in Film (LA)

Jane Scovell, Women in Film Board (LA)

Jane Buckingham, Trendera

Lisa Noonan, Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society

Julie Janata, Alliance of Women Directors

Kristin Marting, League of Professional Theatre Women

Karen Wentzell, WIFT-AT

Ludovica Villar-Hauser, League of Professional Theatre Women

Kaye Kittrell , Alliance of Women Directors

Ariel Dougherty, Co-Founder, Women Make Movies

Ladies Lounge - Australian Women Cinematographers

Victoria Rose Sampson, Alliance of Women Directors

Kirsten Johnson, Cinematographer/Director

Rachel Feldman, Director

Sarah Walker, Writer/Director

Elena Rossini, No Country for Young Women

Jane C. Wagner, Naked Eye Productions Ltd.

Tina DiFeliciantonio, Naked Eye Productions Ltd.

Suhayla El-Bushra, screenwriter

Therese Shechter, Trixie Films

Melanie Sutherland, Director

Pamela Yates, Skylight Pictures, Inc.

Maria Burton, Five Sisters Productions

Jennifer Burton, Five Sisters Productions

Ursula Burton, Five Sisters Productions

Gabrielle Burton, Five Sisters Productions

Charity Burton, Five Sisters Productions

Gabrielle B. Burton, Writer

Ela Thier, Director

Tina Gharavi, Filmmaker

Liz Colker

Nina R. Sadowsky, Producer/Writer

Ilene Kahn Power, Producer

Alison Richards, Transmedia Producer

Darcy Fitzpatrick, Writer/ Director

Dr Marian Evans Wellywood Woman

Nicole Franklin, EPIPHANY Inc.

Anayansi Prado, Director/Producer

Rena Sternfeld, Director

Lucy Patrick Ward, Writer /Director/Producer

Frances Nkara, Director

Sandy McLeod, Producer/Director

Barbara Masry, Director

Jenny Deller, Director

Ganit Orian, screenwriter/director

Leah Meyerhoff, Director

Vanessa Warheit, New Day Films

Patricia Wilson, Producer

Dana Josslin, Producer

Hazel Gibson

Libby Tishler, Director

Eva Stotz, Director

Erika Addis, Cinematographer

Inga Fonar Cocos

Lisa Crafts, Director

Orit Frankel

Tzipi Trope, Writer/Producer/Director

Beryl Bergman

Sarah Knight, Jo Films

Judith Colell, Director

Anat Even, Filmmaker

Olivia Peniston-Bird, Writer/Director

Professor Deb Verhoeven, Deakin University

Kay Pavlou, Director

Victoria Garrett, Director

Rebecca Sheehan, Lecturer

Mary Anne Butler

Martha Ansara, Producer/Director

Ayten Mutlu Saray, Filmmaker

Ray Lawrence, Director

Annie Parnell, Frangipani Films

Sigi Marx Arditi, Director

Jana Jones, Producer

Gillian Leahy, Director

Emily Atef, Writer/Director

Madeleine Hetherton, Australian, Film Television and Radio School

Yael Guilat, Oranim Academic College of Education

Liat Daudi

Sybil Goldfainer

Kate Dennis, Director

Jessica Hobbs, Director

Netalie Braun, Filmmaker

Aarne Neeme

Karen Wilson, fleetfootfilms

Victoria Hochberg, Director/Writer

Greta Morton Elangué, Director

Donna Donato, Editor

Marcus Gillezeau

Amanda Keeling

Dr. Cathy Henkel, Director/writer/producer

Tanya Leach, Stage Manager

Anny Slater

Anna McGrath, Writer/Director

Rita Walsh, Producer

Jet Wilkinson, Director

Anthony Buckley, Anthony Buckley Films

Sarah Goodes, Director

Louise Siversen, Actress

Greta Morton Elangué, Director

Anni Browning, Film Finances Australasia

Grant Scicluna, Director

Kerry Heysen, Kino Films

Maureen Connor, Professor, Queens College

Lee Lewis, Griffin Theatre Company

Jenny Lalor, Entertainment Lawyer

Jill Carter-Hansen, Visionary Images

Anna Grieve, Tamarind Tree Pictures

Annie Murtagh-Monks, Casting Director

Safka Sintmaartensdijk, Producer

Marcus Gillezeau, Producer/Director

Hayley Macfarlane, Director

Stacy Title, Director

Belinda Chayko, Director

Louise Alston, Bunker Productions International

Julietta Boscolo, Writer/Director

Lucy Maclaren, Renegade Films

Abigail Hargrave, Abstar Productions

Linda Klejus

Anna McGrath, Writer/Director

Pat Fiske, Bower Bird Films

Ana Kokkinos, Director/Writer

David Vadiveloo, Community Prophets Australia

Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson, Naninaaq Productions USA

Phoebe Hart, Producer / Director

Catherine Wyler, Wyler / Rymland Prods.

Debra McGuire, Costume Designer

Tracy Lynch Britton, Writer/Director

Colleen Davie Janes, Director/Producer/Writer-----

A l'attention des membres du Jury du Festival de Cannes,

Vous allez passer les 11 prochains jours à voir 22 films que les programmateurs et organisateurs du Festival de Cannes considèrent comme les meilleurs en compétition cette année.

Le Festival de Cannes est l'un des plus prestigieux festivals de cinéma au monde. Des films primés au Festival comme The Artist, récompensé aux Oscars, connaissent depuis une longue vie pleine de succès, et de nombreux réalisateurs ont vu leur carrière lancé sur la Croisette.

Comme nous le savons toutes et tous, les occasions de voir son film projeté sur une scène mondiale sont inestimables.

Pour l'édition 2012, comme en 2010, il n'y a AUCUN FILM RÉALISÉ PAR DES FEMMES en compétition, et durant les 64 années d'existence du Festival, une seule femme - Jane Campion - a reçu la Palme D'Or.

Le directeur du festival Thierry Frémaux a répondu en ces termes à la récente Tribune de la Barbe - le collectif féministe français - qui dénonçait l'absence de femmes:

"Je sélectionne des oeuvres pour leurs qualités propres. Nous ne serons jamais d'accord pour sélectionner un film qui ne le mérite pas simplement parce qu'il est réalisé par une femme.…Dans le cinéma, nul doute que la place faite aux femmes doit être augmentée. Mais ce n'est pas à Cannes et au mois de mai qu'il faut poser le problème, c'est toute l'année et partout."

Nous appelons le Festival de Cannes et les autres festivals de cinéma dans le monde entier à s'engager à la transparence et à l'égalité dans le processus de sélection des films. Nous jugeons les films comme des êtres humains façonnés par nos expériences et nos points de vue. Il est donc vital qu'égalité et diversité prévalent au moment de la sélection.

Monsieur Frémaux a raison de dire que les droits des femmes doivent être respectés tout au long de l'année. Nous, signataires de cet appel, encourageons toute l'industrie du cinéma à engager une discussion sur ce sujet, et appelons tous ceux qui conduisent cet industrie à participer et à contribuer à un dialogue pour permettre, pour reprendre les termes de Monsieur Frémaux, "d'augmenter la place faite aux femmes dans le cinéma".

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