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Cannes: Where Are the Women?

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Thelma Adams for writing about the way that the prestigious Cannes Film Festival continues to overlook women

[This] year’s Cannes Film Festival has not a single female-directed film among the 23 in competition.

I love contenders like David Cronenberg, whose “Cosmopolis”— starring Robert Pattinson — has been welcomed into the competition, and who headed the Cannes jury in 1999. I was a champion of his cerebral period drama “A Dangerous Method,” which had a terrific star turn by Keira Knightley. But, really, not a single film by a woman? I’m just gobsmacked.

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It is, however, a good year to be a North American male: In addition to Cronenberg, Lee Daniels (“The Paperboy”), Jeff Nichols (“Mud”), and Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom”) will premiere at what is considered the most prestigious film festival on the planet. The other 51 percent be damned.

Adams points out that other top festivals like Telluride and Tribeca have no trouble finding worthy films directed by women, including the latest from Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow and “Away From Her’s” Sarah Polley.

The Wrap reports that “Before the festival began, an open letter ran in the French newspaper Le Monde. ‘Men are fond of depth in women,’ read one line of the letter, ‘but only in their cleavage.'” More than 1000 people have signed a petition calling for Cannes to include more women filmmakers and many have asked that Cannes include more women — and not just actresses — as judges.

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