Cannes boss: “in­her­ent sex­ism in the in­dus­try”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

Jane Cam­pion, the chair­man of the 2014 Cannes jury, has spo­ken out on the ever-vexed is­sue of the scarcity of fe­male di­rec­tors. This year, there are just two woman film-mak­ers – Naomi Kawase and Alice Rohrwacher – in the race for the Palme d’Or. Cam­pion re­mains the only fe­male to have taken that prize and thus could hardly avoid the ques­tion when launch­ing the of­fi­cial com­pe­ti­tion last week.

“I think you’d have to say there’s some in­her­ent sex­ism in the in­dus­try,” Cam­pion said at the press con­fer­ence. “It does feel very un­demo­cratic and women do no­tice. Time and time again, we don’t get our share of rep­re­sen­ta­tion.”

Of course, the prob­lem goes be­yond the se­lec­tion pro­ce­dure. It has been re­ported that, of the 1,800 films sub­mit­ted to Cannes, only around 7 per cent had woman di­rec­tors. Take in spe­cial screen­ings and side­bars and it tran­spires that 20 per cent of di­rec­tors at Cannes are fe­male. Much work is still to be done. Cam­pion con­tin­ued: “It’s not that I re­sent male film-mak­ers, but this is some­thing that women can do and we don’t get to know enough about. It’s al­ways a sur­prise when a woman’s movie does come out and you re­ally do get a more fem­i­nine per­spec­tive.”

On a more triv­ial note, Cam­pion ac­knowl­edged that, once at the event, women face a par­tic­u­lar pres­sure that men, safely sheathed in din­ner jack­ets, can eas­ily avoid. “My big prob­lem is what to wear,” she said. “There’s a very high bar to glam­our here. I just want to scrape in, you know?”

Cannes Jury Pres­i­dent Jane Cam­pion: “un­demo­cratic”

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