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Venice Film Festival Jury Head Guillermo del Toro Calls On Festivals to Hit 50/50 Gender Split

The Venice Film Festival hosted its opening press conference for the 75th film festival on Wednesday. During the press conference, organizers faced questions about the lineup which, for the second year in a row, features only one female director. Out of 21 films, Jennifer Kent stands as the lone female director with The Nightingale.

Jury President Guillermo Del Toro was asked about the responsibility of festivals to include diversity in their lineups and he stated that the inclusion was necessary. ““I think if it’s 50:50 by 2019, [it would be] better. It’s a real problem we have in the culture in general. Many of the voices that should be heard, need to be heard. I believe it’s important that it’s not a matter of establishing a quota … Precisely in this time of the conversation, it’s extremely important to call it out and to question it, and to name it and to make it known.

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“I think it’s necessary because for many decades, if not centuries, [gender disparity] has not been called [out]. It’s not a controversy – it’s a real problem. It needs to be solved in every one of our pertinent departments with strength and resolve.”

Del Toro also spoke about how he was fighting the issue in his own personal film career. “I’m producing five movies: three of them from female directors; two of them from first time directors,” he said. “It’s beyond a gesture. It’s a need.”

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