Female filmmakers at Cannes

Female filmmakers at Cannes

Female filmmakers at Cannes

As one senior film critic said in an informal chat: "The festival is telling us that it isn't about the media; it is about the filmmakers".

Cate Blanchett, this year's head, said that the film industry - and Cannes in particular - were working towards "positive change", but on the lack of female directors she warned that entrants at the festival faced a "gladiatorial" environment and had to be up to the task.

'A few years ago there were only two, and I know the selection committee has more women on board than in previous years, which will obviously change the lens through which the films are chosen, ' she said.

Fellow Iranian Director Jafar Panahi and Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, who are also competing for the Palme d'Or, will be unable to attend the fest due to restrictions imposed by their countries. "There will be more and more (female filmmakers) in the future".

The festival announced that women would also be in the majority on juries deciding two other major Cannes awards - the Golden Camera and "Un Certain Regard" prizes, reserved for emerging directors or unexpected or marginal themes.

Cannes has set up a hotline for victims to report any abuse during the festival and will host a series of discussions on the issue.

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The director left the door open for improved relations with Netflix. Several Netflix titles, including Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" and the recently completed Orson Welles film "The Other Side of the Wind", had been expected to premiere this year. She then says that "the news came as a big recognition and the film needs that kind of recognition, that kind of exposure, because what I'm hoping for this film to do is open the debate about this very delicate subject".

From left, Eva Green, Roman Polanski and Emmanuelle Seigner arrive at the screening of the film "Based On A True Story" in Cannes, Saturday, May 27, 2017. Last year, with increased security measures, things did not go so smooth - films were often delayed and attendees frustrated (e.g. they would not let us bring in bottles of water or any food, even small snacks).

As a jury, though, Blanchett said, "We are dealing with what we have this year, and our role in the next nearly two weeks is to deal with what is in front of us". French law prevents a film that plays in theaters to appear on streaming services for three years. Asked if Cannes might do the same, Fremaux hedged.

As we know that women have been stopped on the Cannes red carpet in previous years for not wearing high heels, and its dress code has been condemned as sexist.

But his surprise decision to lift the festival's seven-year ban on Danish director Lars von Trier has stoked feminist ire. He is not a Nazi. "Our role is to, in this next nearly two weeks, is deal with what's in front of us".

While fans are ready to wait for hours to get a picture of the star couple on the red carpet, they will not be allowed to snap a selfie with them in the background. "It's ridiculous", Fremaux said.

The director of the Cannes Film Market, the huge deal-making hub that runs parallel to the main festival, also expects little change.

The Cannes Film Festival which begins on May 8, will see I&B Minister Smriti Irani representing India at the French Riviera festival, The Times of India reported.

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