Actress Gong Li will become the first person of Asian descent to win the Kering Group and Cannes Film Festival’s annual women in motion award. The prize will be presented by Kering’s chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault and the festival’s president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Fremaux at a dinner on Sunday.
The award is intended to celebrate the careers of leading female figures in cinema, and has previously been presented to Jane Fonda in 2015, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in 2016, Isabelle Huppert in 2017 and Patty Jenkins in 2018.
Gong said it would be a “true honor” to accept the accolade. “Making films is fundamental in my life, and I am most grateful to be able to continue to share my work and my passion,” she said. The actress is known for her starring role in films such as Zhang Yimou’s “Red Sorghum,” “Raise the Red Lantern” and “To Live,” and Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine,” which won the Palme d’Or in 1993.
She served as jury president of the 50th Berlin International Film Festival, 59th Venice International Film Festival, 16th Tokyo International Film Festival, 17th Shanghai International Film Festival and 55th Golden Horse Awards, as well as a jury member of the 50th Cannes Film Festival.
On the basis of her first feature-length work, “All Good,” which debuted on April 3, German director Eva Trobisch will also be given the young talent award, which is accompanied with a 50,000 euro donation that will allow her to pursue her film projects. She was chosen by last year’s winner Carla Simon, who called the film “one of the most realistic portrayals of sexual assault that I’ve ever seen.”
Kering is a global luxury group that manages the development of a number of famous fashion brands, including Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen. Its Women in Motion initiative seeks to highlight women’s contributions to the film industry, both behind and in front of the camera, and since it began in 2015, has led to over 40 talks featuring more than 70 speakers.