May 28, 2024

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Universal Studios chief Donna Langley is heading to this year’s Cannes Film Festival where she will be handed Kering’s annual Women In Motion Award.

Previous Women In Motion Award winners include Jane Fonda (2015), Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon (2016), Isabelle Huppert (2017), Patty Jenkins (2018), Gong Li (2019), Salma Hayek (2021), Viola Davis (2022), and Michelle Yeoh (2023).

Recipients of the award are chosen by François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, Iris Knobloch, Cannes President, and Thierry Frémaux, Cannes Director. Announcing the award, organizers described Langley as a “singular force in the business.” 

“It is an honor to be presenting the 2024 Women In Motion Award to Donna Langley, recognizing her both as one of Hollywood’s most influential leaders and as someone who has dedicated herself to demonstrating on and off-screen that gender equality and diversity are absolutely essential,” Pinault said in a statement. “It highlights the collective effort of people working behind the scenes, tirelessly confronting and knocking down gender barriers and racial prejudice.”

A UK native, Langley is the first British woman to run a major Hollywood studio and was awarded a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s Honour List. Langley’s full professional title is Chairman, NBCUniversal Studio Group & Chief Content Officer. Hits from her tenure at the studio include the multi-Oscar winning, box office smash Oppenheimer from Christopher Nolan and Jordan Peele’s Get Out. She has also overseen franchises including Fast & Furious, DWA’s How to Train Your Dragon, Jurassic World, the Bourne series, Pitch Perfect, Illumination’s Despicable Me as well as Fifty Shades, Mamma Mia, Ride Along, and The Purge.

Frémaux added: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to honor Donna Langley’s leadership and unwavering commitment to challenging the status quo, paving the way for women in this industry and beyond. We are proud to recognize the importance of the tireless work of women behind the scenes to shape a more equal, inclusive, and therefore creative cinema.” 

Cannes Film Festival runs May 14-25. 

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