L’Oréal Paris empowers female short film directors with its inaugural Lights on Women Award

Women are still under-represented in film industry. Only 10,7% female film directors in Hollywood as of 2019 and only 7 women been nominated best Director at the Academy Awards in nearly a century. As a feminist brand, L’Oréal Paris is going further with its commitment beside women by launching a dedicated award for promising female short filmmakers.


Thanks to their flexible format and relatively low barriers to entry, short films have long been considered to reflect the future of the film industry.

The Lights on Women Award will encourage rising female short film directors to pursue their creative ambitions and provide funding that will empower them in overcoming the obstacles that they encounter. This event is organized in partnership with the Short Films competition of the Festival de Cannes and the Cinéfondation and the winner will be hand-picked from a selection of this competition and from international film schools’ short film programs. Through its privileged relationship with iconic actresses who embody talent, pugnacity and self-fulfillment, l’Oréal Paris was the most legitimate brand to take this initiative. Only 21.3% of short films are directed by women. Their willingness to go the distance with their ambitions is worth our commitment!

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“This exciting partnership with L’Oréal Paris represents a natural extension of the brand’s ongoing support for Cannes and the wider cinema community,”

Thierry Frémaux, Director of the Festival international du film de Cannes.


The winner of the inaugural Lights On Women Award receives financial support of up to 30,000€. This unique recognition also offers the winner a platform for increased visibility and access to a “sisterhood” of cinematic talent. “The main obstacles faced by women who want to pursue careers in film are firstly, self-confidence, and secondly, financial resources.” says Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, Global Brand president at L’Oréal Paris. There is no doubt that the Lights on Women Award will help the winner to meet these two challenges.
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Discover what our spokes think about the Lights on Women Award and the unique opportunity it gives female short filmmakers to make a difference in the film world.
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The final choice will be determined and announced by Academy award-winner and L’Oréal Paris spokesperson Kate Winslet during a special prize ceremony at the Jeune Cinéma dinner in Cannes on July 16. We are proud of this meaningful sponsorship. Kate Winslet, with the power of her voice, her intelligence, her commitment to the UN fighting violence against women, embodies all the values of the Lights on Wowen Award. Before being a star, Kate has the guts to be herself all the time. She has a capital of empathy and a unique closeness to women. Sorority couldn't have best ambassador.
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“What an honour to preside as Juror over this remarkable recognition for women film-makers and to have an opportunity to celebrate such incredible talent. It is essential that we work together as a community to pursue gender parity within our industry and I am delighted to support the L’Oréal Paris family on this important initiative.”

Kate Winslet


Among all the competitors, the Jury chose Aleksandra Odić, a young German director, graduating student at the DFFB Film Academy in Berlin. Her short film Frida tells the story of an encounter between a young nurse and her patient of the same age. “The brave subtlety and sparse use of dialogue created an internal heartache that takes courage, skill, and a very delicate hand” said Kate Winslet, our Jury President. The director explains that she wanted to talk about this ambiguous relationship between a caregiver and his patient, where professional distance and the desire for closeness coexist.The awards ceremony held on July 16 at the Young Cinema Dinner was an emotional one. Aware of the chance that this prize represents and the opportunities that it opens, Aleksandra Odić underlined the importance of solidarity between female directors and beyond, between all the directors of the whole world so that each one, whatever their gender, their culture, the country they come from, can express their vision and believe in their voice. Present at the event, our spokes like Gemma Chan, Liya Kebede and French singer Yseult gave their support and expressed their enthusiasm for this new generation of talented women directors.
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Talent, passion and soririty at the award ceremony.
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