Variety Studio at Cannes

Melissa Silverstein
Melissa Silverstein

Athena Film Festival's Melissa Silverstein: 'It's About Trusting the Vision of Women'

Athena Film Festival artistic director Melissa Silverstein and European Women’s Audiovisual Network head of research and PR Francine Raveney had an important message for movie-goers: Buy tickets for movies by female directors.

The two talked about the importance of hiring women at all levels in the industry at Variety and Kering’s Women in Motion chat at the Cannes Film Festival. While pointing to the gender imbalance that remains in Hollywood, they also pointed to slight improvements — including the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie, directed by Patty Jenkins.

“It’s the first movie that a woman has directed — a live-action movie — with a $100 million budget,” Silverstein pointed out, drawing applause from the audience. “First.”

Watch highlights from the talk above.

UPDATE: Silverstein later corrected her statement about “Wonder Woman,” explaining that the first woman to have a $100 million budget for a live action film was Kathryn Bigelow in 2002 for “K-19: The Widowmaker.” Patty Jenkins is the first woman to direct a summer tent pole superhero movie. She is also the first woman to direct a superhero movie with a female protagonist.

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