Films in Cannes are A-rated for the first time
The A-rating has now reached the croisset. WIFT Sweden has together with A-rating, French Tess Magazine and Le Duexième Régard, involved the French news newspaper Libération to take note of female representation in films and publish the test results ongoing. When the A-rating was introduced last fall the news received worldwide attention. However, the French reception was very muted. It is therefor extra gratifying that one of the largest newspapers in France not only publishes the A-ratings, but also lets the Editor of Tess Magazine Pamela Pianezza write columns about the films from Cannes through an A-rated perspective.
Examples of films in competition which pass the test are Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako, Bande de filles by Celine Sciamma, The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones, Le Meraviglie by Alice Rohrwacher, The Disapperance of Eleanor Rigby by Ned Benson, Self Made by Shira Geffen, It follows by David Robert Mitchell and Les Combattants by Thomas Cailley. For a film to receive an A-rating, and according to the so-called Bechdel Test, it must contain at least two female characters with names, who sometime during the film talk to each other about someting other than men.
– WIFT Sweden are proud and excited initiators to have the renowned French newspaper Libération A-rating the films at the Cannes Film Festival, says Eva Beling, chairperson WIFT Sweden.
– We got the idea to Bechdel-test the films in Cannes when I was filming the Nordic Factory films for Directors Fortnight in Copenhagen. Together with my French colleague, we reached out to our networking contacts and were able to make this idea work. Programmers at Critics Week and Fortnight have helped us. We hope this will bring forth a good discussion on female representation, says Helene Granqvist, chairperson WIFT Sweden.
Gender inequality is obviously a problem and the film industry indeed holds a responsibility. Film influences people, and therefore a conservative film industry will hamper progress. Four Swedish independent cinemas decided to have a go at gender inequality. We introduced the ”A-rating” October 2013. It’s a method for highlighting films in our repertoire that pass the Bechdel Test, which basically means that a film must feature two women (with names) discussing a topic other than a man.
The ”A-rating” assures this. To us, it’s a case of positive consumer information. The A-rating is in no way the only solution to these challenges. But it lays bare the most fundamental problem – basic representation. Film must be something bigger and better than the story of men by men. Let’s continue this discussion, take responsibility together and reach for change, says Ellen Tejle, Bio Rio.
For more information please contact: Eva Beling, Wift Sweden tel. +46 735- 82 04 02 and Helene Granqvist tel. +46 705-13 21 41.