18th May 2012
Cannes Film Festival Snubs Women Directors
The Cannes Film Festival is known for causing controversy alongside being one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. This year is no different: feminists are in uproar over the complete lack of women nominated for the coveted Palme D’or award for directors. Out of the 22 shortlisted, there are no women.
Naturally, many have complained about this, including Nancy Huston and Virginie Despentes who, among others, wrote a sarcastic open letter published in several newspapers including The Guardian:
“[the line up] sends a powerful message … Above all, never let the girls think they can one day have the presumptuousness to make movies or to climb those famous Festival Palace steps, except when attached to the arm of a Prince Charming.”
Thierry Fremaux argued back stating that directing is primarily “a male sport” and that the choice of directors shortlisted was simply due to the quality of film rather than any kind of action against women directors.
Whilst some suggest there should be a quota for female directors, others oppose this idea. British director Andrea Arnold, who has won twice at previous festivals, says that she would hate to think she won awards simply because she was a woman.
Of course there have been a multitude of responses from different websites and over social media, including Bird’s Eye View, who’ve been tweeting about it alongside many other men and women who see this as an obvious snub towards equality and recognition of women in film.
What do you think? Should there be a quota? Is the shortlist a one-off, or is sexism still going strong in the film industry? Let us know what you think!