Jury president Annette Bening addresses lack of female representation at Venice Film Festival

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Jury president Annette Bening addresses lack of female representation at Venice Film Festival

(Claudio Onorati / Associated Press)

Though there aren’t as many women represented at this year’s Venice Film Festival as she would like, jury president Annette Bening believes “things are changing.”

The four-time Oscar nominee, whose film credits include “American Beauty,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “20th Century Women” and “Bugsy,” addressed the lack of female directors Wednesday during the ‘s opening press conference. (Only one of the 21 films in competition is directed by a woman this year.)

“As women, we have to be sharp, shrewd and creative in what we choose to make. Sexism does exist and there is no question about it. But things are changing,” the actress said at the opening press conference, according to .

“The more we can make films that speak to everybody, the more we will be regarded as filmmakers,” she added.

Bening, the first woman to chair the jury in more than a decade, said she knew of both veteran and rookie filmmakers struggling to get their movies made “whether they are men or women.”

She said the industry has “a long way to go, in terms of parity” but was confident that the “direction we’re going is positive.”

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