Venice International Film Festival: Jury President Guillermo del Toro says gender parity is 'beyond a gesture'

FP Staff

Aug 30, 2018 10:04:42 IST

Venice Film Festival jury President Guillermo del Toro spoke about the need for gender equality on the opening day of the gala, which has come under fire for its dearth of female-directed films in competition. The director says a push for gender equality in Hollywood "is beyond a gesture, it's a need."

Guillermor del Toro. Image from Facebook

Guillermo del Toro. Image from Facebook

Guillermo del Toro touched upon the issue on 29 August at a news conference where he was joined by fellow jury members Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Sylvia Chang, Trine Dyrholm, Nicole Garcia, Paolo Genovese, Malgorzata Szumowska and Taika Waititi, reported.

"I think the goal has to be 50-50 by 2020. If it's 50-50 by 2019, that's even better," del Toro said.

The under-representation of female directors was in discussion as out of 21 competition titles at the Venice film fest, only one is directed by a woman.

The annual extravaganza has also come under pressure to follow in the footsteps of the Cannes, Locarno and Sarajevo festivals in signing a pledge on gender parity.

"We have a real problem now. It's a real problem in our culture in general. Many of the voices that need to be heard have to be heard. It's not a matter of establishing a quota; it's a matter of in this time, precisely this type of conversation (is needed) to call it out and make it known.

"I think it's necessary because for many decades, if not centuries, it has not been called (out)," del Toro said.

He said he was doing his bit. He says he is currently producing five movies, three of which will be directed by a woman, a pair of whom are making their feature debuts.

This year's jury consists of five women and four men in an effort to readdress the imbalance that has occurred in previous years.

Australian actress Naomi Watts is on the panel — an experience she hopes will be "life altering."

"To sit in a disciplined way and spend the next 10 days watching two to three films a day is extraordinary and I have just never had that opportunity. And to be amongst this group of people on this panel and with Guillermo leading it, I think it's going to be a really unique and really new experience."

Fellow jury member, New Zealand comedy director Taika Waititi, joked that while comedy was his field of expertise, he was the right man for the job. "I have a very sensitive meter for tragedy and I like to think of myself sort of like the Tchaikovsky of comedy," he said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Updated Date: Aug 30, 2018 10:04:42 IST