PARIS – French star Isabelle Huppert will be the face of the third edition of Women in Motion, the program launched by Francois Henry Pinault’s French luxury company Kering and backed by the Cannes Film Festival.
A program aimed at highlighting women’s achievement in film in front of and behind the camera, Women in Motion will run alongside the film festival, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The poster of the upcoming edition shows a glamorous portrait of Huppert, who just won a flurry of awards, including a Golden Globe and a Cesar prize, and an Oscar nomination for her performance in “Elle.” The portrait “draws on the aesthetics of the silver screen in a vibrant homage to the power of women in cinema,” said Kering.
Huppert has had a close relationship with Cannes for more than 30 years. She presided over the jury in 2009, and won best actress for “Violette Nozière” in 1978 and “La Pianiste” in 2001.
As part of the initiative, Kering and Cannes will jointly hand out two awards during a May 21 gala dinner, with Cannes jury members in attendance. The Women in Motion Award will go to a well-established producer, director or actress whose career has inspired other women, while the Young Talents Award will go to a promising film industry professional who will be selected by the Women in Motion prize honoree.
The Young Talents Award will be worth 50,000 euros, and will help finance one or several of the winner’s film projects.
“As is still the case in far too many walks of life, women are underrepresented and disadvantaged in the film world, despite their priceless contribution to everything that makes cinema what it is,” said Pinault, the chairman and CEO of Kering. “For three years now, Women in Motion has been a leading forum in changing mindsets, celebrating the most extraordinary figures in our industry and offering practical support to talented women.”
Pinault said that promoting gender equality was “at the heart of Kering’s priorities.”
Last year’s Women in Motion Award went to Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, who were reunited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s “Thelma & Louise,” while the Young Talents Award was collectively won by three helmers: Leyla Bouzid, Gaya Jiji and Ida Panahandeh.
Throughout the festival, Kering will host several talks with high-profile film industry figures who will share their experiences and views on women’s contribution to film. These Women in Motion roundtables will be open to both journalists and film professionals.
Last year’s talks featured Jodie Foster, Salma Hayek Pinault, Juliette Binoche, Chloë Sevigny, Houda Benyamina and Alice Winocour, among others.
Pierre Lescure, who presides over the Cannes Film Festival, said that “highlighting the value of women and their role in film [was] a cause that deserved all our attention, and it is crucial to raise awareness among the many festival-goers who visit Cannes each year.”
Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s artistic director, said that the Women in Motion program was a “key part of Cannes Film Festival.”
“It is vital to give everyone a chance to express their views on the subject, share concrete examples of inequality and suggest ways of fighting them,” he said.