Cannes 2016 Kering Women in Motion Talk with Jodie Foster

Yesterday, Variety and Kering’s Women in Motion sat down with actress, producer, and director Jodie Foster to hear about her experience as a woman in the entertainment industry.

She covered the gender gaps and gender psychology which shape the industry. Having started in the industry at a young age, Foster has witnessed over fifty years of industry shifts and developments. She notes that, “Everything changed when women came in.” She speaks on what is missing in the industry in terms of equal gender representation, why it is missing, and where we are today. Foster states that, “Studio Executives are scared, period,” because hiring a woman can become a financial risk.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12:  Ramin Setoodeh and actress Jodie Foster attend Kering Talks Women in Motion at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, .  (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering)
CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 12: Ramin Setoodeh and actress Jodie Foster attend Kering Talks Women in Motion at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, . (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering)

Foster also said, “Film is where art and commerce come together, and it really is just risk development.” Nevertheless, she notes the expanding opportunities for women in television production due to the relatively low financial risk compared to film. She believes we should foster a complex discussion on gender issues because of a lack of diversity in the industry.

This conversation is important because it can expand both opportunities for women in the industry and deeper narrative construction in films and television. Foster jests, men have an inability to connect with the female characters they create, subsequently leading to a less diverse range of character arcs. Foster acknowledges the deep relationships women can establish with others (a motherly characteristic) and attributes these characteristics to women’s’ ability to develop powerful characters. Therefore, she proclaims that, “If you bring a woman into the process and make it a comfortable arena, they will be able to be successful.”

After many years in the industry she has witnessed “faces changing as time [goes] on.” While many more women have joined the scene, there is definitely room for expansion. Overall, while Foster acknowledges the importance of these issues, she encourages us to persevere: “If what you are is an artist, you just do it and you go on.” 

Her film Money Monster is in theaters now.

 

-Jon J.

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