Lack Of Female Film-Makers Is Not Gender BiasMay 17, 2012 No Comments
The Cannes film festival has kicked off this week with controversy over the lack of films made by women that are up for consideration.
The all-male list in contention for the prestigious Palme d’Or prize has been criticized as evidence of gender bias.
Whilst it is true that, of course, women make films these days, and no doubt some films made by women could have been included in the shortlist at Cannes but weren’t, I think this criticism misses the point that is really at stake.
Yes, the Cannes organizers could have engineered for a film made by a woman to be included in the list – but would that type of tokenism really help with the wider problem? The wider problem being that film-making is overwhelmingly done by men.
Yes, there are women making films – I’ve already said that – but there aren’t enough women making films to ensure that at least a few woman-made films will be included on the list year after year because they represent the best of the best.
If you think of the top film directors in the world, very few of them are women. If you were to look at the board of director of most major film companies, very few of their members are women.
There is a general lack of representation of women in the film industry at a high level. Who do young, aspiring female film-makers have to look up to?
I think a lot needs to change before we can expect women film-makers to regularly make the line up for Cannes. Women watch films, women act in films – more women need to make films. When female film-makers become just as high-profile as their male counterparts, but still aren’t being taken seriously enough by the film industry, that’s when we can all really start shouting about gender bias.
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