Once Is Not Enough – And Other Lessons from This Year’s Cannes Festival

Posted April 26, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Leaders We Adore

Last year, 2011, brought a milestone for female film directors. At the Cannes Film Festival a record number of female directors were featured – four, to be exact. That meant that in the most lauded film festival in the world, women directors had reached the coveted “16 percenter.” If you haven’t heard of the 16% curse before, Google it. Women in America tend to make up 16% of leadership – on Boards, CEOs in Fortune 500s, political leadership, etc. It’s our stall point, if you will. But somehow at least getting to that stall point was a celebration for female directors.

Enter 2012, where all of our hopes of finally being that stunted 16% in the film industry were dashed when this year’s Cannes Films were announced. Not only were there less than four women on the director’s chair this year, there are none. That’s right. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. From cheers to jeers in the film industry this year for women.

What can we learn from this travesty of Cannes? Once is not enough. As a gender, we cannot and should not be too quick to celebrate finally breaking a tiny glass ceiling when an even larger one looms ahead. How can we do this? It’s up to us, as women, to promote the work and celebrate the success of other women.

So here’s my challenge for you: at least once this month, buck the Cannes trend and find an independent film directed by a woman. Even if it’s just you watching it in your living room, that’s enough. But do it. Support a female director by watching her film now.

And if you’re looking for a fantastic film to watch, the widely respected “Miss Representation” is now available for purchase on Amazon.com. Check out the “Miss Representation” trailer below, and order it now online by clicking here.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."