Following in the footsteps of the Cannes Film Festival, the head of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival has signed a pledge to promote gender equality and transparency at the festival as well as on the planning organization’s staff.
As in Cannes, the signing of the pledge Tuesday was orchestrated by women’s group Le Deuxième Regard and 5050×2020, a movement that was launched in France in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and that advocates for gender parity and diversity in film, TV and animation film festivals. The organizations Women in Animation and Les Femmes s’Animent were also driving forces behind the signing.
Patrick Eveno, the CEO of CITIA, the organization which puts together the Annecy festival and its affiliated market, Mifa, pledged to provide “a genre-based breakdown of regular statistics, including the number of films that have been submitted by women; be transparent about the members of the selection and programming committees in order to prevent any doubt about a lack of diversity or parity; set up a timetable of goals to ensure an even gender ratio within the respective terms.”
CITIA currently employs 21 women out of 35 permanent staffers, and six out of the 12 company’s divisions are headed by female executives.
“In keeping with our commitment, we wanted to confirm once again our wish to contribute to achieving parity within our institution in all aspects of the events that we organize and the projects that we lead,” said Eveno, adding that CITIA could become an “ally and even an activist in the movement for parity.”
Nevertheless, only 20% of the films in this year’s official selection are directed by women. At the same time, women represent more than half of all student badge-holders at this year’s festival.
“Out of the 740 films that have received awards at Annecy since 1960, only 20% were films directed or co-directed by women,” said Mickaël Marin, the managing director of CITIA and head of Mifa. “The world has changed and evolved, and we want to take part in these changes.”
The festival is organizing several events to honor women in the industry, notably the Women in Animation World Summit and the Mifa Animation Industry Award to Women in Animation.
“It is a tremendous honor for Women in Animation (WIA) to be recognized by Annecy for our work in opening the doors of our industry to all people with a focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging,” said Marge Dean, president of Women in Animation.