Guillermo Del Toro has called for greater gender equality at the Venice Film Festival.

The acclaimed filmmaker is currently serving as the Jury President at the festival, and Guillermo has spoken passionately about the need for gender equality at Veince, which has come under fire this year for the lack of female-directed movies.

He explained: ''I think the goal has to be 50-50 by 2020. If it's 50-50 by 2019, that's even better.''

The issue has become a hot topic at the festival after it was revealed that just one of the 21 competition titles in Venice is directed by a woman.

The festival is also facing pressure to follow the leads of the Cannes, Locarno and Sarajevo festivals, which have all signed a pledge on gender parity.

Del Toro revealed earlier this year that he had a film turned down because it was too ''female-centric''.

The award-winning director said he once tried to persuade a studio to take on a project with a predominately female cast, but his efforts were shut down almost immediately.

He shared: ''The message that is really strong for studios, and one that they understand, is box office.

''So with 'Black Panther', 'Get Out', 'Wonder Woman' - these are movies for female audiences, African American audiences, and for many years that was a very difficult discussion to have with studios.

''One project I had at a major studio no longer than three years ago was turned down because it was female-centric.

''I went to bat for it and literally could not move them one inch. It was myopic. These successes show the studios that fortune favours the bold.

''People are interested in seeing themselves in a way they haven't seen themselves.''