Jane Fonda looks back at her acting career and her role as a campaigner for women’s rights at the Women in Motion Talk at La Cinémathèque française
More than 600 guests and celebrities from the world of cinema and culture gathered on Monday, October 22 to hear actress Jane Fonda give a Women in Motion Talk at La Cinémathèque française in Paris. The event was hosted by Costa-Gavras, Chairman of La Cinémathèque française, and Frédéric Bonnaud, its Managing Director.
Having received the Prix Lumière in Lyon, Jane Fonda honored an audience in Paris with her presence at a Women in Motion Talk hosted by Costa-Gavras and Frédéric Bonnaud. The actress, the first recipient of the Women in Motion Award in 2015, discussed her acting and movies producer careers, her links with France, her militant campaigning, and her commitment to feminism.
Fonda covered the period from her early career, when her image as an object of male desire was imposed on her by men, to the stage of self-awareness that enabled her to free herself from such diktats. “I wasn’t going to be a leaf carried along by the current of a river any more, I wasn’t going to rely on other people’s desires, and I was going to take back control of my life!” she told the audience .
That desire to express her convictions later led her to move into producing. “I wanted to leave Hollywood,” she said. “I wasn’t being offered the roles I wanted. I decided to take things in hand.”
Fonda also raised the urgent issue of women who are subjected to sexual harassment, particularly in the cinema world, and highlighted the huge challenges that still need to be met, despite the recent advances: “Things are moving, but only slowly and it’s going to take a long time, because men are still in charge of the film studios. Today, we need women to take over, and to choose the stories they want to tell - and how they want to tell them.”
She also underlined the role that actresses can play in making this change happen, saying: “If you have a talent for this profession, and if you look deeply inside yourself, you will have a chance to move things forward.”
Fonda finished her talk by sharing her concerns, and stressing the need to work collectively for change: “Of course I’m worried. Aren’t you? We should all be worried! … [Even so] I have the feeling today that the world is "woke". Marches are being organized everywhere to bring about change, together.”
Afterward, the evening continued with a showing of Klute, the film that signaled the start of her commitment to feminism, and for which she won a Golden Globe® and an Oscar® as Best Actress.
Until November 5, filmgoers will have the chance to discover a selection of 24 films depicting the fascinating evolution of this extraordinary actress.
About Women in Motion, a Kering initiative
Women in Motion's ambition is to highlight the contribution of women to the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. Launched in May 2015 by Kering in partnership with the Festival de Cannes, Women in Motion is an integral part of the Festival's official program, and is active around the world through a variety of events. This initiative is based on two fundamental actions: its Talks, which are open to journalists and film professionals, enable leading personalities including Jodie Foster, Diane Kruger, Robin Wright, Salma Hayek Pinault, Juliette Binoche, Chloe Sevigny, Agnès Varda and Frances McDormand, to compare their experiences and views on the issue of women's contribution to cinema, and also to share their recommendations for the advancement of women’s representation in the industry. The Women in Motion Awards, two awards given each year, one to an inspirational figure who embodies the values of the program, and another to a promising name in cinema who also receives financial support for future film projects.
About Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda was born in New York City in 1937. After having graduated from Vassar College, Fonda studied with renowned acting coach Lee Strasberg and became a member of the Actors Studio in New York. Fonda’s work on stage and screen has earned numerous nominations and awards, including Oscars® (Best Actress in 1971 for ‘Klute’ and in 1978 for ‘Coming Home’), four Golden Globes®, two BAFTAs and an Emmy Award. Along with starring roles in dozens of highly acclaimed productions, Fonda also took on responsibilities as a film and television producer. In 2007, Fonda received an Honorary Palme d’Or from the Cannes Film Festival. In 2014, she received American Film Institute’s highest honor, the Life Achievement Award.
In addition to her tremendous success as a stage and screen actress, Fonda has long been known for activism and advocacy on environmental issues, peace, and gender equality. Since 1994, Fonda has been Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. With much of her work devoted to the program she founded in 1995, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential (G-CAPP). She is also on the board of a number of NGOs, among them the Women’s Media Center, which she co-founded in 2004, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC).
About La Cinémathèque française
In 1936, Henri Langlois, a visionary figure, founded La Cinémathèque française in order to save films from destruction, along with costumes, sets, posters and other cinematic treasures. At the time, he was the first to consider cinema an art to be preserved, restored and shown.
Eight decades on and more than ever, in a resolutely modern building designed by Frank Gehry and devoted entirely to the 7th Art, La Cinémathèque française reveals cinema in a unique way via its numerous activities and one of the world's largest film collections.
A veritable crossroads of cinephilia, it constantly takes a new look at cinema across all periods, horizons and genres. It thereby enables spectators to make wonderful film discoveries and the young generation to frequent the history of cinema on a daily basis.
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In 2017, Kering had nearly 29,000 employees.
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