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Dakota Johnson Speaks About Women’s Representation in Film Industry at Marrakech Festival

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The lack of women in film has been the talk of festivals around the world for the last couple years. But “Suspiria” star Dakota Johnson, who is a member of James Gray’s jury at Marrakech Film Festival, made it clear she had a different opinion about this topic during the opening press conference on Dec. 1.

Addressing the fact that this year’s Marrakech jury had more women than men, Johnson said she was “under the impression that there almost many women involved in cinema behind the camera, in front of the camera, behind film festivals and in film festivals.”

“This jury happens to have more women and perhaps there might be an avenue for this to occur more often in the future, and I think that’s awesome,” added Johnson, who was sitting with Gray, Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”), Laurent Cantet (“The Class”), Indian actress Ileana D’Cruz (“Barfi!”), Lebanese filmmaker and visual artist Joana Hadjithomas (“I Want to See”), Moroccan director Tala Hadid (“House in the Fields”), German actor Daniel Brühl and Mexican director Michel Franco (“April’s Daughter”).
Hadid, meanwhile, said the real issue was not merely the representation of women but the “power sharing.” “It’s another long battle for women.”

Ramsey, whose latest film “You Were Never Really Here” is nominated for four Spirit Awards, also weighed in on the gender issue. She said that since women represent about half of the world population there is no reason why they are not equally represented in the film sector; but she also argued that the consideration of gender, sexual orientation or nationality should not come into play when people are discovering a film.

Reflecting on the impact of the women’s movement in India, D’Cruz said she has seen “a big shift” in the industry.

“There are lots of different films and roles and (we’re starting to see) films do great business at the box office with women in lead roles,” said D’Cruz.

Franco, who was asked to comment on the selection of three Latin American movies in competition, alluded to the recent presidential election of a far-right politician (Jair Bolsonaro) in Brazil.

“Our countries – and Brazil is a good example – are going through deep trouble. We come from countries that are very complicated socially and politically, and that’s why our cinema has turned out to be so interesting in the last few years; because we had a lot to say, to discuss,” said Franco. “There is a huge need for young people to express themselves,” added the filmmaker.

Gray has been at the Marrakech Film Festival twice before, including in 2012 when he was on the jury presided over by John Boorman. Asked what he would be looking for in the first and second films competing, Gray offered a philosophical answer.

“What makes for a good movie? Is it true to itself, does it succeed on the terms it sets for itself? Is it honest, daring and sincere? And does it strive for its own truth?”

The 17th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival kicked off on Friday with .....
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