Entertainment & Arts

Chinese Women's Film Festival calls for gender equality

China Women's Film Festival poster Image copyright AP
Image caption The China Women's Film Festival runs until Sunday

A film festival in China is calling for more female representation in cinema and plans to lobby the country's film industry to improve the situation.

The China Women's Film Festival plans to write an open letter, signed by at least 50 celebrities, to major Chinese film producers and cinema companies.

The letter will call on them to use the so-called "Bechdel Test" when producing movies.

To "pass" the test, a film must have at last two female characters.

It must also contain a scene in which they converse on a subject that does not involve a male character or men in general.

Members of the public will also be invited to add their names to the letter when the festival comes to a close on Sunday.

Image copyright Pathe
Image caption Meryl Streep played Emmeline Pankhurst in 2015's Suffragette

The event began on Saturday with a screening of Suffragette, the 2015 film about the early days of the feminist movement in Britain.

This year's festival features more than 30 Chinese and international films about women's rights, women's achievements and gay women.

"Very few movies have strong female roles and characters," said festival chairman Li Dan in an interview with the Associated Press.

"People and audiences have the idea that female characters should be pretty, be looking for a good marriage or a rich man or a Mr Right, and if the movie follows that path it will have a good box office."

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