I have been dying to go to the Cannes Film Festival for over ten years. This year in 2015, I finally went, appropriately in what is being called The Year of the Woman. While it is encouraging to have the ACLU fighting gender disparities in TV and film directing, there is a long way to go to affect real change.
What better way to get the party started than to ban a group of from a Cannes gala screening for not wearing high heels! The outcry rippled through the festival, but I wish it were more for the main Cannes competition only including two female directors. I happened to get a gala ticket for one of the two – “Mon Roi” directed by Maiwenn and gleefully suffered the red carpet in six inch heels.
As a Cannes newbie I was shopping “Erasing Eden”, the nearly complete feature drama that I directed. The hallways of the Marche du Film, however, were devoid of female protagonists and female filmmakers, judging from the posters and key art. My creative partner Justo Diaz and his wife have three little girls and we want them to grow up with entertainment that eclipses the gender bias. We have been crafting “Pimp Girl” a vengeance-laced action story featuring a kick ass female protagonist to that end. I tried to imagine our project squeezed into this year’s crop of male centric Van Damme movies and Game of Thrones rip offs. Think big.
Real change is going to take a lot of hard work, solidarity and sacrifice; it must be felt economically by the industry. Echoing influential writer Melissa Silverstein from a recent female activist gathering, money talks and action is necessary. Melissa raised two ways to affect change that I will personally challenge myself to implement:
Boycott male driven and directed films…and HIRE WOMEN.
For the ACLU petition Click here:
(stay tuned for my next blog post “Cannes Sex Party”)