×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Biz Sets Agenda for Next Stage of #MeToo

Female representation and inclusion is a hot topic in Cannes, if sadly lacking in the competition lineup, and industry leaders came together Sunday to plot the next steps for the #MeToo movement.

The morning after an 82-strong group of women took to the steps of the Palais des Festivals to demand change, USC Annenberg professor Stacy L. Smith told a packed session inside the building that projects with inclusion riders should get bumped to the front of the queue for tax relief. The head of the Swedish Film Institute, Anna Serner, pledged that all of her organisation’s funding would go to female-led projects in 2020 if the goal of having a balance is not achieved by that point.

Serner told Variety that the industry has been given fair warning and she is not afraid to divert all 2020 funding to project that hit diversity and inclusion targets if the industry does not correct itself.

Smith, the academic who developed the inclusion rider, laid out some stark facts illuminating the lack of women and people of color in the film business, before suggesting a range of solutions at the Take Two: Next Moves for #MeToo event.

In a charged atmosphere, she said, there needs to be measurement to gauge the level of progress and that the changes around notions of leadership need to be made, starting in film schools.

Touching upon a recurrent theme, she argued that efforts to affect change need to have financial dimension. “We’re going after tax incentives at the state and federal level to link [them] to production credits so that if a production has the inclusion rider attached to it, it should move to the front of the line or automatically qualify for funding,” she said.

Smith added that the movie business needs to uncouple the race and gender of producers and directors from the content they are making, otherwise the small number of movies with female leads or co-leads further reduces opportunity. “In Hollywood you have to have a female lead to have a female director,” she said. “It should be that females are considered for ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Wonder Woman.’”

This should extend to race she continued: “When we have people of color behind the camera they should be able to tell stories about people of color and about Caucasians. What a concept right!”

Serner echoed Smith’s calls for systems to measure the levels of inclusion. “Start counting,” she said. “If you don’t know the numbers you don’t know what kind of problem you have.”

Swedish and French culture ministers, director and screenwriter Aida Begic, and Swedish actors Bahar Paris and Eva Rose all spoke at a morning of sessions hosted by Melissa Silverstein, the founder of Women and Hollywood. With the Cannes Film Festival firmly in the #MeToo spotlight, Cameron Bailey, co-head of the Toronto Intl. film Festival offered up a TIFF perspective on inclusion. “We are in the middle of figuring it out, it is an ongoing process,” he said, adding 12 of TIFF’s 21-strong programming team are women. Later on in the session, he said: “It’s very simple; if you are in a position where you can hire women, hire women, it’s not any more complicated than that.”

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content