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'
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Record Store Day 2014: Best exclusives coming to a UK independent record shop near you
Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
Misheard song lyrics: Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne's lyrics named hardest to understand
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist