Scandal, protesting stars and bans as Cannes film festival opens
- Author: Theresa Obrien May 09, 2018,
May 09, 2018, 0:48
Only four of the 111 winners have been female - and two of them were a year ago when Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to secure the best director trophy with her American Civil War drama "The Beguiled".
After arriving at Nice airport on Monday 7 May, they made their way to Cannes, before heading for a Cannes jury dinner at Hotel Martinez.
Also on the jury that will decide this year's Palme d'Or are Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, French director Robert Guediguian and Chinese actor Chang Chen.
Fremaux and the other organisers also plan to set up a specific telephone hotline so that victims of sexual harassment and abuse are able to report what happened to them.
"Is [#MeToo] going to have a direct impact on films in competition this year?"
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Questions of gender equality are especially pointed at Cannes, which for the last 20 years had been a seaside playground for Harvey Weinstein, long one of the festival's most ubiquitous operators.
Cannes has previously come under fire for not awarding the Palme to more women.
Thierry's efforts to make the film festival more gender inclusive include improving the male-to-female ratios on selection committees, installing more women into the role of jury president, and selecting more films directed by women for competition.
Blanchett said she would "absolutely" want to see more women in competition at the annual gala.
The trailblazing director, screenwriter, producer and distributor, who directed the Oscar-nominated civil rights drama "Selma", is the first African-American woman to helm a film with a budget over $100 million - this year's "A Wrinkle In Time" starring Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.
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But Michel Hazanavicius, the Oscar-winning director of "The Artist", who is on the festival's board, insisted von Trier was joking, while Fremaux said Monday that the Dane was not an anti-Semite. I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year's jury.
That change is clearly being seen and felt across the festival this year.
Though Ms Blanchett and other members of the jury said the films will be judged on their own merit, it's going to be hard to ignore the extraneous and intrinsic factors that accompany many.
Still, the shadow of disgraced film mogul Weinstein is looming over this year's Cannes. There was something outside of my purview to orient me to my place in the world. And he has brought Star Warsback to Cannes for the megawatt premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Also likely absent from Cannes will be two filmmakers living under house arrest in their home countries. One of the hottest properties on the Cannes market is a female-led spy film 355, to star Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong'o.
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Another Iranian with a movie in competition, Jafar Panahi, will be unable to attend the festival as he is officially banned from film-making by his government. "They will be walking the red carpet and we will be there to support them", she said.