The Berlinale is the latest major European film festival to introduce a gender equality pledge, following the lead of Cannes, Venice, Locarno and Sarajevo.
Festival director Dieter Kosslick will sign the pledge on February 9th at an event co-hosted by Women in Film and Television Germany (WIFT). The pact was struck in collaboration with French gender parity movement 5050×2020, which spearheaded the Cannes pledge.
The pledge does not set mandatory quotas for films directed by women, but promises an even gender ratio in festival management, and improving transparency around selection processes by publicly listing the members of its selection and programming teams.
“In this year’s competition, 17 films compete for the Bear awards, seven of which are by female directors,” commented Kosslick. “Even if this still isn’t parity, this is a good development.” Seven is a marked increase on recent editions.
This year’s EFM lineup includes a number of panels on diversity, including a discussion on gender equality in film financing, featuring producer Gale Anne Hurd and Anna Serner, CEO, Swedish Film Institute. The festival’s competition jury is headed by Juliette Binoche and is split 50/50 male and female.
Earlier this year, Venice came under fire for having only one film in competition directed a woman, Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale.