Women ask for more representation at Venice film fest

BY SAMANTHA COSTANZO
Posted on DEC 27, 2018

The letter asks the Biennale to ensure that, as an arbiter of taste in the film world, it would look more seriously at issues of representation.

A group of women's organizations have written an open letter to the leaders of the Venice Biennale film festival, according toThe Hollywood Reporter.

The letter, addressed to the festival's president Paolo Baratta and artistic director Alberto Barbera, calls for more adequate representation of female directors at the festival, which has selected only one woman-led film out of 21 for the past two years. It is signed byhe European Women's Audiovisual Network, Women in Film & TV International, WIFT Nordic, WIFT Sweden, and the Swiss Women's Audiovisual Network.
Barbera, who selects films for the festival, said that quality and not gender influenced his choices, and that he would quit his job if forced to select films directed by women over those directed by men.

"Do [festivals] ask themselves if they are simply repeating the kind of choices that have been made in the past?" the letter reads. "Do they question if they are maybe perpetuating bias against female creators?"

According to the letter, women make up 50 percent of film school students, yet no major film festival has selected half of its programming to be films directed by women.

"We must assume that the Venice Film Festival has not offered any Unconscious Bias training to its leading team," the letter reads.

The letter asks the Biennale to ensure that, as an arbiter of taste in the film world, it would look more seriously at issues of representation, as the lack of it could prevent women from gaining the attention needed to win Oscars and other critical acclaim for their work

 

 

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