Gillian Armstrong backs campaign for transparency in Cannes selection criteria

Photo by Tim BauerA group of Australia’s top film-makers have joined international counterparts in asking where all the women are in the Cannes Film Festival selection.

After not one film by a female director was selected at the Cannes Film Festival, film-maker Gillian Armstrong, along with other film-makers from Australia and around the world have ask the festival to reveal its selection criteria.

Led by Melissa Silverstein, founder of the Women and Hollywood blog on the Indiewire Network the campaign asks for transparency from the festival.

Silverstein said: “While the typical Cannes stories focus on the glamour, clothes and celebrities on the red carpet, this year many articles are focused on whether the festival is sexist. The fact that the festival’s director, Thierry Fremaux, as well as the jury had to address this issue at the opening is a big deal.”

On the lack of women, festival director Thierry Fremaux said: “I select work on the basis of it actual qualities. We would never agree to select a film that doesn’t deserve it on the basis it was made by a woman…There is no doubt that greater space needs to be given to women within cinema. But it’s not at Cannes and in the month of May that this question needs to be raised, but rather all year and everywhere.”

The campaign makes the point that in 64 years of the festival, only one woman, Jane Campion, has been awarded the Palme D’Or.

As well as Armstrong, Australian film industry players to sign the petition include Rachel Ward, Jessica Hobbs, Ray Lawrence, Marcus Gillezeau, Kerry Heysen, Anni Browning and Victoria Goodyear.

The festival press office was unavailable to take Encore’s calls.


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