According to Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up Foundation,
“Film festivals play a critical role in shaping our culture, which is why representation and access are so critical.”
The global movement for inclusivity seems to be having an impact on the 2021 Sundance film festival as well. It seems that there is growing some unrest among people not including enough women and people of color in the festival.
According to a research brief by the Times Up Foundation, there is a 39% point decline between white male directors and women directors of color at top film festivals. The same report states that the programmers are predominantly white and male. The key findings included data that was collected from the top five film festivals (Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Venice).
The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative also carried out some research, whose founder Dr. Stacy L. Smith stated that despite some progress, it was still not possible for more women of color to make a place at these festivals.
The Latinx House on Saturday hosted a panel discussion on the same issue. With panelists such as Dr. Smith, Latina actress, and director Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”), director Angela Robinson (Herbie: Fully Loaded, “The L Word” ), and the Sundance Institute’s Film programmer, Dilcia Barrera in attendance, it was decided that the Sundance Institute will also release the study.
The ongoing debate seems to have found its validity in its claims for lack of diversity and inclusivity in the entertainment and art world. There is a silver lining, however, that the industry is watching and listening, and also making efforts to counter such issues in the future. The 2021 Sundance movies also show the same lack of diversity, ranging from directors and writers to actors and producers.