The 67th Cannes Film Festival wrapped up at the end of last month with another round of slightly disappointing results from a gender equality perspective. This time, only two female-directed films competed against 16 male-directed films for the ultimate Palme d’Or prize, which did end up going to a man.
That said, the second prize Grand Prix award did go to a woman, 33-year-old Italian writer/director Alice Rohrwacher, for her second film Le Meraviglie (The Wonders.) That’s hopeful!
What’s more, the festival’s grand jury was actually led by a woman this year – the highly acclaimed Jane Campion, who is the only women in Cannes history to be awarded the Palme d’Or (though in full disclosure she shared it with another male director).
Because of this achievement, plus a previous nomination for a Best Direction Academy Award, Campion has become a natural champion (see what I did there?) for addressing the lack of opportunities for women directors. And though not sure it should be her, Campion heartily agrees with the need for an Abraham Lincoln-like representative to take on the issue.
And Campion is already in prime position to do just that, having made films like The Piano that have inspired other directors (male and female) to “write roles for women — beautiful women with soul and will and strength, not victims, not objects” (said one of this year’s male jury prize winners). She’s also not afraid to speak her mind on this subject, using the Cannes festival’s opening press conference to call out the “inherent sexism” in the business, saying
“Time and time again we don’t get our share of representation. Excuse me gentlemen, but the guys seem to eat all the cake.”
Well we’re behind you Campion, our champion Tough Cookie! Keep leading the way, and here’s hoping more of the industry will follow.