Parents attending the Cannes film festival previously have found it difficult to manage their child along with attending the festival.
Of them, three film industry professionals, who were parents as well, come up with the idea of setting up a nursery, so as to make it easy for mothers to attend events. The idea came up a couple months earlier when they were sharing tips on maintaining a work-life balance. As a result together they have founded the “Parenting at Film Festivals.”
“We were just comparing notes on how hard it was to be a parent at a festival,” said Michelle Carey, an Australian film programmer. She is one of the three women who have founded this group. During last year’s festival, Carey had to rush back to her room as she had to feed her infant son. Her hotel room was 20 minutes away which made it difficult and impractical. She is not alone, there were several moms who had to do a back and forth.
So the three of them went and spoke to the organisers of the festival. By April, the initiative was in place. The infrastructure was provided for by the film market. However, the child care costs were raised through crowd-funding initiatives by around 12 companies. This was supported by 5050/2020 collective, who is asking for an equal spot for women in the industry. This move has come after Cannes had signed a pledge for gender equality.
However, according to Carey, the initiative of offering friendly services was led by her and fellow mothers. She said:
“In a sunny corner overlooking the yacht-filled harbour, a handful of Cannes’ youngest visitors are bouncing around a vibrant-coloured carpet in the first-ever crèche at the world’s biggest film festival. Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon), is a light, airy room “where children are the new VIPs”. Kids had previously been a very rare sight at the annual celebrity-filled festival, but for the first time this year, the festival has opened the special day care centre to lend a hand to parents in the film industry.”
Speaking about the organisers and the subsequent permission that they got Carey said, “If we hadn’t gone to them, they wouldn’t have been able to do it themselves.”
“The day care centre follows the similar pattern of a nursery, “playhouse and nap room” as set up at the Sundance Film Festival last year by the US-based Moms-in-Film group, who had spoken up at the lack of child-friendly facilities at Cannes.” she added.
This nursery had encouraged mothers to attend the Cannes film festival knowing that their children will be taken care off. This is a great step in terms of gender equality.
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Kavya Shah is an intern at SheThePeople.Tv