Nearly half the films showing in the 17th Annual TriBeCa Film Festival were directed by women, the most in the festival's history.

Promoting women in film has "always has been part of our mission," said Peter Torres, the festival's COO. "We are also a female-driven company." The TiBeCa CEO and co-founder is Jane Rosenthal, and several of the festival executives and creative leads are women.

"We've always been along this path," said Torres in an interview Wednesday on Cheddar.

Of the 96 films showing in the festival, 44 of them were directed by women. And the organizers have dedicated the last Saturday of the festival to the #TimesUp movement to counter sexual harassment and gender inequality in entertainment. Torres said there will be panel discussions about gender and pay parity in film and other industries.

The #TimesUp movement and #MeToo started after revelations that the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had paid settlements to several women who accused him of sexual harassment over three decades. Since the initial reports of his alleged behavior, several other women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of assault.

Many of his films were shown at TriBeca over the years, and the festival featured a special, live "conversation with Harvey Weinstein" as part of its 2015 program. At the time, Rosenthal said, “Harvey has a heart bigger than this room and when he’s your friend, you’re stuck with him.”

This year's festival will highlight TriBeCa's "Through Her Lens" program, in partnership with the fashion brand Chanel, which was started in 2015 to support female directors, and the Nora Ephron Prize for women writing and directing films.

"We have always been trying to empower female filmmakers," said Torres.

The festival runs from April 18-29.

For full interview, click here.