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Yes (He) Cannes: Women Filmmakers Still Missing

April 21, 2010

Last week, one of the world’s most prestigious film competitions – Cannes – proudly announced its lineup for the upcoming 2010 festival.  But a quick scan through the congratulatory list of the directors’ names reveals a striking pattern - every single nominee is a man.

Perhaps this news shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that Cannes leaned 92% male over the past decade.  And as Professor Matha Lauzen’s recent annual report found, women made up just 7% of directors in the 250 top-grossing movies of 2009 (representing a 2% drop in female directors since 2008)!  Women’s perspectives have been and continue to be excluded from film.  This cannot continue, and we will continue to campaign for women’s equality. As Women’s Media Center founder Jane Fonda recently highlighted, we still have a long way to go to ensure our media reflects our diversity: “Women are not only assets but requirements for a truly democratic media, and for strong, innovative entertainment.”

If our world’s most prestigious film festival wants to showcase the utmost artistic expression for which it aims, we must include women’s voices.  Without women, we all fail to reach our potential.