×

Venice Jury President Guillermo del Toro Calls for Gender Equality

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro spoke passionately about the need for gender equality on the opening day of the Venice Film Festival, which has come under fire for its dearth of female-directed films in competition.

“I think the goal has to be 50-50 by 2020. If it’s 50-50 by 2019, that’s even better,” del Toro, the Venice jury president, said Wednesday at a news conference, where he was joined by fellow jury members Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Sylvia Chang, Trine Dyrholm, Nicole Garcia, Paolo Genovese, Malgorzata Szumowska and Taika Waititi.

The under-representation of female directors was the hot topic. Out of 21 competition titles in Venice, only one is directed by a woman. The festival has also come under pressure to follow in the footsteps of the Cannes, Locarno and Sarajevo festivals in signing a pledge on gender parity.

“We have a real problem now. It’s a real problem in our culture in general,” del Toro said. “Many of the voices that need to be heard have to be heard. It’s not a matter of establishing a quota; it’s a matter of in this time, precisely this type of conversation [is needed] to call it out and make it known. I think it’s necessary because for many decades, if not centuries, it has not been called [out].”

Del Toro said he was currently producing five movies, three of which will be directed by a woman, a pair of whom are making their feature debuts.

It’s the second year in a row that Venice’s competition lineup has only a single film directed by a woman – in this year’s case, Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale.” The festival’s artistic director, Alberto Barbera, who has been criticized for failing to select more female filmmakers in the lineup, did not comment on the issue during the press conference. Paolo Baratta who presides over the organization that runs the festival, told journalists that “the submissions of films by women directors is relatively low – 21% on average.”

“I hope that other festivals will disclose their data on this, so we can have a reference point for a more objective examination of the situation,” Baratta said. “As far as the suspicion that the festival has bias…and that we need to check this, I am absolutely open to this. But I am also against the idea that quotas are the solutions to fix film festivals.”

Venice is expected to sign a pledge for gender equality later this week.

More Film

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire' Star, Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in “Downfall,” has died. The Swiss actor was 77 years old. The cause was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of the Nazi leader, Ganz played an angel who gives up immortality to experience earthly pleasures in Wim [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor whose portrayal of Adolf Hitler in 2004’s “Downfall” made him an international star, has died. He was 77. Ganz died at home in Zurich on Friday, his management told various media outlets. Ganz was a familiar figure in German-language cinema, with a career spanning nearly 60 years. In addition to [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content