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New Fund for Women-Directed Films Launches in France

The French culture minister is preparing the launch of a fund dedicated to backing between 10 and 20 projects by women filmmakers.

Venus Victrix was created with the help of Eric Garandeau, the former CNC president, co-finance the development and production of movies from female directors around the world. It will operate like funding schemes such as Berlin Film Festival’s World Cinema Fund or CNC’s Aide aux Cinémas du Monde.

Venus Victrix will take the form of an endowment fund so that donors – either businesses of individuals — will be able to benefit from a 60% tax cut on contributions.

The idea for the fund is to regroup different partner brands which will join forces to “walk the talk” and give “tangible support for the cause of women in cinema,” said Garandeau.

The fund is already backed by the financial institution Cofiloisirs and discussions are ongoing with other institutions and fashion brands, among other potential partners.

“Talk is good, Action is better. Salma Hayek and Frances McDormand summarized the necessary action very succinctly when they said ‘What women need to make more films is money!'” said the exec, who also played a key role in the launch of the Women in Motion program of Kering.

In Europe, 84% of public funding resources are given to to male-directed films, and 56% of industry insiders still believe that a female director will negatively affect private funding decisions, according to the European Women’s Audiovisual Network’s research on Gender Equality.

Nyssen first discussed the creation of the fund while at Cannes Film Festival where a series of events promoting gender equality, including a women’s march, were staged (pictured). Cannes Film Festival’s chief Thierry Fremaux signed a landmark pledge signed for equity in the film industry, along with the heads of Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight.

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