Cannes Film Festival: A woman flies the flag in a 'man's world'
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Thursday 17 May 2012
A female juror at the Cannes Film Festival spoke out yesterday against the lack of women film directors, days after a row erupted over the absence of female nominees for this year's Palme d'Or prize.
Andrea Arnold, the British director of acclaimed films including Red Road and Fishtank, is one of four women on the nine-strong the jury. The lack of female directors is "a great pity and a great disappointment", she said. "Women are half the population and they have things to say about life and the world."
The lack of a single film directed by a woman on the 22-strong selection prompted a group of female film-makers, including Virginie Despentes, Coline Serreau and Fanny Cottençon, to write an open letter to the organisers.
They said: "Last year, no doubt it was an accident, four women managed to slip in among the 20 in official competition." Ms Arnold also added wryly that maybe 2011 "was a good year".
The letter sarcastically applauded the selectors saying they had "returned to their senses" and added: "Men love their women to have depth, but only when it comes to their cleavage."
The only woman to win the award in the festival's 64-year history is Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993. Yet, Ms Arnold said: "I would hate it if my film was selected because I'm a woman. I would only want it selected for the right reasons."
Earlier this week the festival organisers responded angrily to the open letter. The head of the selection committee, Thierry Fremaux, said the judges would not select a film that doesn't deserve it "just because it is directed by a woman".
The jury, which also includes the actor Ewan McGregor, the director of The Descendants, Alexander Payne, and the fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, initially met on Tuesday, the night before the festival opened.
The president of the jury, Nanni Moretti, who directed The Son's Room, a Palme d'Or winner, said they would meet every two days to discuss the competing films.
The British director said the lack of female film-makers was 'a great pity'
Arts & Ents blogs
The Full Monty to close in West End after one month despite Olivier nomination
Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on acting one-handed and why Jaime Lannister is not so bad
Halle Berry's X-Men: Days of Future Past role cut down to one scene
Game of Thrones star Sibel Kekilli on why she wants more male nudity in the show
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers