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Record high participation of women at the Berlin Film Festival 2019


The 69th edition of the Berlin Film Festival devoted a large part for women, including the appointment of a woman to head the jury.  It also chose a film produced by Netflix to partake for the first time ever in the official competition. The reported rate of women participation this year is record, with 7 out of the 17 competing films  directed by women, that is nearly 17% against 14% and 5% in the year 2018 at the Cannes and Venice festivals. The head of Women and Hollywood pressure group, Melissa Silverstein, said that this standard participation at the Berlin festival is timely, particularly that not a single woman filmmaker was nominated for best picture or best director at the Oscars. Such festivals, she maintained, have a duty to ensure and increase gender diversity in the industry, for they open the doors to fame for those who take part where they get noticed across the globe. To note, during the 2019 round, the Berlin festival administration will ink a gender-parity pledge that has been already signed by other festival, including Cannes and Venice. (An Nahar, February 7 2019)

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