CANNES, France (Reuters) - As the subject of women in film continues being discussed avidly at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, actresses Rachel Weisz, Emily Blunt and Isabelle Huppert said they hoped the added attention would help erase gender inequality in movies.
“It’s very sad that such an event as tonight has to happen, but we do need to draw attention to women in film,” Weisz told Reuters at a private party hosted by Calvin Klein on Monday, feting notable women having an impact in the industry.
“We’re just very disproportionately represented in terms of directors and writers - people in charge of the story-telling. So we just need more films from women’s point of view,” she added.
Over the past year, numerous high-profile women in film have publicly addressed the gender gap in cinema, urging it to be narrowed and to provide more women with opportunities both on and behind the camera.
Blunt, who turned action hero alongside Tom Cruise in 2014’s “Edge of Tomorrow”, said her role in the film “made quite an impact” as women aren’t usually seen as equal counterparts to their male stars in action movies.
“It’s always a good thing to push people’s minds that women can be tough and cool and lethal,” she said. “I do feel things are changing. Women are proving themselves time and time again to have an amazing tap of what works in cinema.”
For the first time in decades, the Cannes festival opened with a film directed by a woman - “La Tete Haute” by France’s Emmanuelle Bercot.
Festival director Thierry Fremaux provoked a debate by pointing out in interviews that “the number of female directors in the world is too low.” He added that the films at Cannes were selected because they suited the festival, not because of the director’s gender.
Huppert, who stars in three films premiering in Cannes including Joachim Trier’s family drama “Louder Than Bombs,” echoed Blunt’s sentiments, adding that women’s roles in film need to keep progressing.
“I think women are already on a good path. It’s good to anchor it, the movies to be better and better, to give better roles to women and to give better opportunities for women to direct movies and to write scripts,” she said.
Reporting by Matthew Stock for Reuters TV; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe