On the occasion of the second edition of the ‘Women in Motion’ programme, Kering and the Festival de Cannes will take the opportunity of the ‘Presidential Dinner’, organized by Kering and the Festival de Cannes on Sunday 15 May 2016, to present the ‘Women in Motion’ Awards, designed to celebrate and encourage talented women in cinema. In 2016, to celebrate their exemplary contribution to the film industry and to the women’s cause, the ‘Women in Motion’ award, as a dual prize, will be given to Academy Award winner, American actor and advocate Geena Davis, and the Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner, American actor, and activist, Susan Sarandon.
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has pioneered and led world renowned and large-scale research on the imbalance of female characters on-screen and behind-the-camera nearly ten years. Susan Sarandon is committed to the promotion and defence of human rights, through intense activism and support to various non-profits and human rights organizations worldwide. Davis and Sarandon’s contribution to the women’s cause is additionally remembered through the worldwide success of the iconic American classic Thelma & Louise. Both actors will be reunited at Cannes’ Presidential Dinner, 25 years after their distinguished performance as lead actors in Ridley Scott’s road movie, screened at the 1991 Festival de Cannes. Written by Callie Khouri, the film has won Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, nominated for six Academy Awards in total, among which Best Director and Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Both Davis and Sarandon will be attending the 15 May ‘Presidential Dinner’ and receive their award from Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, and François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering. As part of the ‘Women in Motion’ Awards agenda, acting as role models for their exemplary careers and social commitment, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon have chosen the winner(s) of the ‘Women in Motion’ award in support of young talents. Recipient(s) for this second prize, selected among a shortlist of talents identified throughout 2015, will be revealed shortly.
Keeping with the 2015 Presidential Dinner’s philosophy, the dinner will be presented by the renowned French chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, the only 3-starred woman in France, known for her seek for complex flavour combinations and powerful tastes.
Geena Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College. In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performances as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise. Davis went to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in A League of Their Own. Other credits include iconic films such as Tootsie, The Fly, Beetlejuice The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little. In 2012, she was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women. In 2015, Davis launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in the entertainment industry and serves as its Co-Founder and Chair. BFF provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women. Davis is also the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters – and reduce gender stereotyping – in media targeting children 11 and under.
American film actress Susan Sarandon made her acting debut in 1970 in the film Joe, and later went on to star in the cult classic film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in 1975. She won an Academy Award for her performance in Dead Man Walking, and received Oscar nominations for her roles in Atlantic City, Thelma & Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, and The Client. She also won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Client. On television, she is a five-time Emmy Award nominee, including for her guest roles in Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Bernard and Doris, and You Don’t Know Jack. She is currently starring in The Meddler (Sony Classics) with Rose Byrne and JK Simmons.
As an activist, Sarandon has dedicated much of her time to fighting hunger, promoting women’s issues and is currently working to help address the refugee crisis.
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About ‘Women in Motion’
The aim of the ‘Women in Motion’ programme is to stimulate discussion and encourage reflection on the place of women in the film industry, both on and off the screen. Launched in May 2015 as part of the partnership between Kering and the Festival de Cannes, ‘Women in Motion’ is now an integral part of the Festival’s official programme. The programme features two fundamental components: the Talks, which are a series of open interviews with one or several guests, which take place throughout the duration of the Festival, to create a platform for considering and exchanging views on the multi-faceted issue of women in the film industry; and the ‘Women in Motion’ Awards, presented each year to an iconic figure and to one or several up-and-coming talents at the Festival de Cannes “Presidential Dinner”.
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