PARIS — Kering cares about women.
The French luxury group said it would continue its “Women in Motion” series, an event it launched last year during the Cannes International Film Festival, to highlight women’s contributions in cinema.
This year’s series, which is expected to host talks focusing on solutions that would make the movie industry a less gender-biased place, is again to coincide with the film fortnight, slated to run from May 11 to 22 on the French Riviera.
Throughout the competition, Kering and the Festival de Cannes will invite speakers from within but also from outside the industry to animate the discussions.
Last year’s roster included Isabella Rossellini, Isabelle Huppert, Salma Hayek Pinault, Agnès Varda and Matthias Schoenaerts, among others.
“We are extremely proud of the success of the first edition, both in terms of the quality of its discussions and speakers, and for the positive reception…The place, role, contribution and voices of women in cinema are undoubtedly issues that concern the entire profession and which will help the industry to evolve towards ever-greater degrees of openness and diversity,” said Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s artistic director.
Pierre Lescure, its president, noted how the event was “in line with the debate about the place of women in cinema and the need for greater diversity within the profession.”
“We are pleased to be able to contribute to reflections on this important theme, and to give concrete support to up-and-coming cinematic talents in the process,” he said.
Kering is also gearing up to give away two “Women in Motion” Awards on May 15 during a “presidential dinner” hosted by the group’s chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault. The first award is to recognize “an exemplary contribution to both the film industry and women’s causes,” the group said. Its recipient will then be offered the chance to pick the winner of the second award, “intended to support up-and-coming talents in the film industry from a shortlist of individuals compiled throughout 2015,” who is to receive financial support for an ongoing film project.
In 2015, two-time Oscar-winning actress and activist Jane Fonda and independent producer Megan Ellison (think “Foxcatcher,” “American Hustle” and “Zero Dark Thirty”) scooped two honorary awards as part of the inaugural ceremony.
“With ‘Women in Motion’ — and even more so this year, given the real support we are providing to several female directors — we are taking another step towards real awareness and tangible changes, promoting a film industry that is more representative of the richness and diversity of our societies,” said Pinault.
Kering last year joined the list of official partners of the Cannes International Film Festival, alongside L’Oréal Paris, Chopard and MasterCard, among others.