The Diversity Issue

On May 12, 82 women protested gender inequality in the film industry in the red carpet of Lumiere Theater in Cannes, led by this year’s jury president Cate Blanchett and director Agnès Varda, one of the only two women ever won the Palme d’Or.

In its 71 years, Cannes Film Festival selected only 82 films directed by women in contrast to 1688 films by men. This huge gap in representation is something we consciously work to overcome here in New Orleans Film Society. We are proud to say that 54% of all films screened at the New Orleans Film Festival last year were directed by women. As Cate Blanchett put very strongly, “Women are not a minority in the world. Yet the current state of our industry says otherwise.” Moreover, we had 45% of the lineup by filmmakers of color at the last NOFF, way above the industry average of 12.6%, and hopefully will go up.

Watching films is one of the best ways to explore human experiences other than our own, learn about other cultures, individual and communal experiences. Living in one of the most diverse cities in the US, we also enjoy one of the most diverse film festivals in the world! The 29th New Orleans Film Festival will be between October 17 – 25 and we cannot wait until we all gather to explore stories that we, won’t be able to see in TV, theaters or other festivals as often.

If you are a filmmaker, submit your film now to #NOFF2018 before tomorrow’s late deadline.
If you are a screenwriter, submit your screenplay to our inaugural Screenplay Competition.

If you are a local New Orleans film lover, join our ranks by becoming a member to enjoy free or discounted passes New Orleans Film Festival, French Film Festival, year-round exclusive member screenings and weekly member newsletter with an insider scoop to all things film in New Orleans.

Thank you for supporting our mission in advocating for, and exhibiting diverse storytelling in New Orleans. The more we get to know each other by listening to each other’s stories, the more harmony and peace we will have in our communities.

See you at the movies!

Cover photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images