Cannes Film Festival falls behind Sundance, Tribeca, BFI

The Cannes Film Festival sits at the bottom of the list when it comes to representing women directors in its official competition compared to other major festivals.

This year there are only 3 out of 21 films in the official selection directed by women vying for the Palme d’Or, which represents just 14% of all the filmmakers. In comparison to the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes doesn’t even give women directors half the representation. When it comes to the Sundance Film Festival and the London BFI Film Festival, Cannes also falls behind. However despite this, the festival can’t be entirely blamed for the lack of women directors given that there is an industry-wide lack of roles for women in many fields, although recent efforts following the Oscar backlash could rapidly change this in the next 2 years.

While Cannes may be scolded for its apparent lack of devotion to women directors, The Berlinale had a particularly controversial selection earlier this year with just 9% of women directors in the competition (A drop from 16% in 2015).

Women director representation

  • Tribeca Film Festival 2016 +30%
  • Sundance Film Festival average 25%
  • BFI London Film Festival average 20%
  • European average 20%
  • Cannes Film Festival 2016 14%
  • Hollywood average 7%

Recent industry reports have shed light on the lack of diversity in film and TV, not just in Hollywood but over in the UK as well. Many film institutions and government organizations are looking at increasing funding for women directors as well as minorities, however, film festivals will have to play their role as well in giving female directors more opportunities to highlight their films.

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