Wednesday, 16 May 2012

With no women directors in the main competition at Cannes this year, the festival has been the focus for an outcry about sexism in the film industry. As the debate rages on, we speak to three women working in the business to get their views…

This week, as the great and good of the film world descend on Cannes, there’s a stink in the air – and it’s not just the Roquefort.

On Saturday French newspaper Le Monde published a comment piece accusing the festival of sexism. Although seven films directed by women will be screened, not one of the 22 directors competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or is female. For the article’s authors, two prominent female directors and an actress, the absence of women in the main competition is Cannes’ way of saying that when it comes to celluloid, “men like depth in women, but only in their cleavage.”

Festival director Thierry Frémaux has hit back, saying that the films have been chosen on merit alone and stressing, “We would never agree to select a film that doesn’t deserve it on the basis it was made by a woman.” His view is shared by Rebecca O’Brien, producer of The Angel’s Share, the only film in the shortlist with a British director – Ken Loach. “Cannes’ job is to present what they believe are the best films that year. It’s not like they’ve got a female phobia. If Cannes aren’t choosing women filmmakers, it’s that there aren’t that many to choose from,” she says.

Read the full article on IdeasMag.

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