Notes from 2016 Cannes Film Festival Meeting

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Women and Hollywood and the EWA organized a meeting with over 50 activists at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival hosted by the Swedish Film Institute.

During the first part of the meeting we first received briefs from organizations across the world as to what they are doing to push for gender equality for women directors.


Screen Australia is using 3 tick systems writer, directors & protagonist. They had 240 application and funded 40 projects.


They are pushing for 50/50 funding. Working with Austrian film institute to push for internal change and also pushing to get more female producers.


Saw an increase of women directors from countries reporting from 17% in 2012 to 27% in 2015. They are creating a plan to reduceinequality behind and in front camera. Have initiated an annual prize that will be given out at different festivals to a female filmmaker for 30,000 euros.


In 2014, 11 orgs came together with 7 action points for change, but a new Prime Minister led to immediate change and there is a new minister. Two Times More is initiative to improve percentage of women directors working in live action. Goal is work not tokenization. Also announced that Canada will be funding 50/50 of productions and financing.

Directors UK

Study revealed that there is systemic bias at all levels of the industry especially to create a sustainable career. BFI and Creative England have agreed to fund 50/50 by 2020.

The second half was focused on collective action items to push for change.

Action Items

  • Must have more women critics.
  • Film schools need more senior women, especially teaching directing.
  • Movement for equality must not be limited to elite and those at different stages of careers.
  • Focus on equality needs to include all creative roles – producers, writer, exec producer, editors, cinematographers.
  • Do not ask about family responsibilities.
  • Good practice should be celebrated. Male advocates and champions should be identified and celebrated.
  • Unconscious bias training for commissioners.
  • We need to change the language. Normalize the female pronouns.
  • Ask for all hiring, especially directors that women be on the list and interviewed. (Rooney Rule)
  • Create global database of information.
  • We can’t leave it up to the institutions to push for change. We must keep pushing.
  • Create international day across the globe to celebrate and highlight women filmmakers.
  • Create toolkit across public funders and companies.
  • Make sure that all countries have data on women filmmakers and that the data is counted in the same way so it can be used cross countries.
  • Transparency on film festival submissions.

Looking at all the action items where are several thatpop out at me as opportunities for collective action

  • Unconscious bias training
  • Global database to share information (I am happy to create a section on the newly launched
  • Create toolkit for best practices and other issues that can be shared worldwide (I am happy to host that)
  • International Day to celebrate women filmmakers.

I also want to add- getting more women to submit to top tier festivals

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