The Cannes Film Festival is partnering with luxury and sport brand group Kering to launch the first Women in Motion program at this year’s event in May. The aim is to “celebrate the talent of women in cinema and encourage reflection on their contribution to and role in the film industry,” Kering said. The partners will also launch two special awards from 2016, one recognizing a significant contribution to the cause of women in cinema, and the other celebrating a young female filmmaker. Although there were a record 15 female directors across the Official Selection in 2014, the festival has nevertheless come under fire in recent years for a paucity of women in the Competition. Only one has ever taken home the Palme d’Or: Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano. Throughout this year’s fest, a series of Women in Motion Talks will focus on women and the film industry, covering a range of issues such as women’s status, their representation within the profession and on screen, the specific nature of their narrative points of view and their perspectives behind the camera. Fest chief Thierry Frémaux will be one of the guests. He said today, “Women’s contribution to the film industry, be it on screen or behind the camera, is essential and invaluable. By putting this topic on the agenda, we hope to work towards greater recognition of their work and input to cinema.” A special award will be presented at the Presidential Dinner on May 17, hosted by incoming president Pierre Lescure, Frémaux and Kering Chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault. Lescure said, “We are opening another chapter in the history of the Festival de Cannes and are paving the way for the cinema of tomorrow, enriched by a greater variety of points of view and by the diversity of films. This initiative perfectly corresponds to the new momentum we wish to give the competition.
BAFTA has launched a call for scripts from emerging comedy screenwriters for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase event. For the fifth consecutive year, three selected writers, or writing partners, will showcase their work in front of some of the biggest names in the U.S. television industry at the New York Television Festival in October. The event features professional actors performing extracts of the writers’ scripts to an industry audience, with feedback from a leading U.S. writer, director or producer. Previous chairs of the event include Veep‘s Stephanie Laing; The Office and Parks & Rec‘s Greg Daniels, and Girls‘ Jenni Konner. Applications for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase are open here to UK-resident comedy screenwriters who have not yet had a television series commissioned, although they may have broadcast writing credits. The successful entries will be selected by an industry jury of comedy professionals.
Germany’s ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of pubcaster ZDF, has signed a first-look development and distribution deal with Projector Pictures, the production company behind shows such as Kidnap And Ransom and The Body Farm. Founded by Waking The Dead actor Trevor Eve with Charles Haswell and Sharon Maughan, Projector is currently developing a number of projects across UK networks, as well as in the U.S. where they have been working with ABC Studios, Lionsgate and with Showtime, on a remake of Kidnap And Ransom. ZDF Enterprises distributes a catalogue of more than 5,000 hours of drama programming on behalf of ZDF as well as third parties.