Franklin Eugene at 78th Venice Film Festival Championing Women in Film
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis received the Golden Lion Honorary Award in recognition for her work in the industry at the Venice Film Festival. It is a notable feat when considering women make up around 20% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers in the industry. A recent study indicates that this figure has not changed much over the years.
Jamie Lee Curtis’ recognition was credited on receiving the highly acclaimed award for her lifetime achievement. In a similar vein Franklin Eugene continued his fierce advocacy of women and inclusion in the film industry. He graced the Sala Grande Red Carpet at the Palazzo del Cinema ahead of the world premiere of “Dune”, directed by Denis Villeneuve. Find out more about Mr. Eugene’s filmography at IMDB.
Known as a notable supporter for diversity and as a proponent of representing all voices in art, Franklin Eugene participated in discussion at the Annual Seminar on Gender Equality and Inclusivity in the Film Industry. The seminar was held at the Hotel Excelsior at Venice Production Bridge.
Among the panelists were Roberto Cicutto, President of La Biennale di Venezia; Alberto Barbera, Artistic Director of Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica at La Biennale di Venezia; Enrico Vannucci, Deputy Executive Director of Eurimages; Iole Maria Giannattasio, Ministry of Culture at Directorate General Cinema and Audivo Visual; and Mariagrazia Fanchi, Director of Alta Scuola in Media Comunicazione e Spettacolo dell’Università Cattolica di Milano; and many others.
A Greater Presence of Women in Film
The presentation focused on sharing relevant and current data and discussing potential solutions in order to evoke a greater presence of women at every level of the film industry. This includes festivals.
Franklin Eugene noted of the event: “While strides have been made for women and inclusion of historically marginalized people in front of the camera, we continue to see great need for a tremendous amount of work to be done. In the motion picture drama space, data has revealed that behind the camera, contributions from Black, Asian and minorities in general had fallen from 8.6% in 2018-19 to 5.9% in 2019-20. Additionally, there has been a decrease in the contributions from women in senior roles. This is a tragedy for the industry and arts as a whole.”
Women in Film Event
Franklin Eugene attended the Women in Film event at Hotel Excelsior, as the invited guest of the tv network for which he is an advisory board member, Cultured Focus Television Network.
The highlight of the event featured an awards ceremony where notable women who have made contributions in the areas of film and fashion were recognized. Fashion designer and businesswoman Alberta Ferretti, received the highest honor of the night.
During the event international journalists interviewed Franklin Eugene, where he, once again, stressed the need to open up the film industry for women and marginalized groups. He said: “We need look no farther than films like ‘Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon’ to see our significant progress in this space.
This film is written and directed by the incredible Ana Lily Amirpour, and the four pivotal roles are performed by Jeon Jong-seo, Kate Hudson, Craig Robinson, and Evan Whitten.” Mr. Eugene continued, “However, film crews and the business industry that supported the very filming of this masterpiece still have a dearth of female and minority representation.”
See additional images from the event here.
Liaising with Cynthia Erivo
Ahead of the “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon” screening, Mr. Eugene liaised with Cynthia Erivo, who was a member of the festival jury this year. Erivo, an English actress, singer and songwriter is the recipient of several accolades, including a Daytime Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and a Tony Award. Mr. Eugene noted that, “Cynthia’s humanity is as big as her talent. Her talent is beyond extraordinary.”
Franklin Eugene strongly expressed that the fight for inclusiveness will continue, stating to her, among other things: “Cynthia, like the people of the world, I adore you. We will continue to fight for inclusion of those normally forgotten in front and behind the camera.”
Remaining Committed to the Cause
Franklin Eugene voiced that he will remain committed to supporting the movement to amplify marginalized voices, as the Venice International Film Festival drew to a close.
“The conversation centered around the need to improve Hollywood in the film industry is as old as the industry itself. Not only is diversity and inclusion good for business, but it ensures all perspectives and contexts are being embraced as both important and necessary to the broader cultural discussion. In order to move forward and truly capture the state of the world today, there needs to be representation of sex and race on every level.”