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Women administrators slam ‘poisonous masculinity’ of Venice movie competition, Entertainment News & Top Stories

VENICE (AFP) – The Venice movie competition was slammed for its “toxic masculinity” because it opened on Wednesday (Aug 29) with only one feminine director represented amongst its most mouth-watering line-up in many years.

With Hollywood successfully turning the competition into its launchpad for the Oscars with new movies by Damien Chazelle, the Coen brothers, Alfonso Cuaron and Lady Gaga’s much-hyped display debut, feminists have lashed the organisers for selecting just one movie by a feminine director.

It is the second yr in a row that Venice has featured only one movie by a lady among the many 21 vying for the Golden Lion prime prize.

Festival director Alberto Barbera had declared that he would “rather quit” than give in to strain for a quota for ladies after the Cannes, Toronto and Locarno festivals pledged themselves to gender equality.

But his stance – as Venice bids to rival Cannes because the world’s most vital competition – was lambasted by an alliance of European girls filmmakers.

“Sorry, but we don’t buy this anymore,” stated the European Women’s Audiovisual Network in an open letter earlier this month. “When Alberto Barbera threatens to quit, he is perpetuating the notion that selecting films by female filmmakers involves lowering standards.”

Others blamed a streak of Italian “toxic masculinity” that noticed actress and #MeToo campaigner Asia Argento pilloried in her homeland for accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape.

But on Wednesday, Barbera appeared to melt his place significantly as the top of his jury, Oscar-winning Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, threw his weight behind the 50/50 by 2020 marketing campaign launched by girls stars and administrators at Cannes.

“For me the goal is clear and has to remain 50/50 by 2020,” the director advised reporters in Venice. “I think 50/50 by 2019 is better. It is not a matter of establishing a quota… (but) it is extremely important to call (under-represenatation) out. For many decades and centuries it had not been called out.”


Barbera had earlier insisted that he selected the movies “on the quality and not the sex of the director”, telling reporters that “if we impose quotas, I resign”.

But campaigners say Venice might now be about to enroll to the better equality targets according to different festivals, with Barbera already vowing better transparency.

He was already beneath strain for together with a documentary by Bruce Weber, Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast regardless of claims of coercive sexual behaviour by the American trend photographer made by 15 male fashions.

Weber denies any wrongdoing.

Barbera additionally confronted questions over his determination to ask disgraced Hollywood director James Toback to premiere his movie The Private Life Of A Modern Woman at Venice final yr.

Toback has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by almost 400 girls, together with actresses Julianne Moore, Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams.

“I’m not in a position to judge, to decide if James Toback’s behaviour was good or bad,” Barbera stated.

“I’m not a judge. I’m not a lawyer,” he stated of the director, who denies the allegations.

“We will see if the courts decide if the accusations are true, and if they’re true he’ll go to jail.”

But even the row over girls administrators can not take the shine off the best way Barbera has turned across the world’s oldest movie competition.


A number of Oscar winners over the previous 5 years have been premiered at Venice together with Gravity, Birdman, Spotlight, La La Land and final yr’s greatest movie, The Shape Of Water. Its Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is the top of the jury this yr.

Barbera has stolen a number of the Cannes’ thunder and its stars, along with his competition’s timing making it a greater launchpad for the American awards season.

Venice has additionally profited from Cannes’ feud with streaming large Netflix, scooping up all of its movies which could usually have been proven on the world’s greatest movie competition.

Venice’s staggering line-up this yr contains new movies by Oscar-winning Son Of Saul director Hungarian Laszlo Nemes, Britain’s Mike Leigh and Paul Greengrass, Chinese grasp Zhang Yimou, Emir Kusturica and two of France’s greatest administrators, Jacques Audiard and Olivier Assayas, who would normally present at Cannes.

The competition kicks off late Wednesday with First Man, with Chazelle teaming up along with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling.

The Canadian actor performs astronaut Neil Armstrong within the years main as much as 1969, when he grew to become the primary man to stroll on the moon.

Australian Jennifer Kent is the solitary lady gunning for the Golden Lion with The Nightingale.

The final time a lady took Venice’s prime prize was 43 years in the past when German director Margarethe von Trotta gained with Marianne And Juliane.

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