Cannes boss: “inherent sexism in the industry”
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”