Monday, 21 May 2012

Women Behind the Camera

 Cannes Film Festival is currently ongoing it's 64th year, having opened with Wes Anderson's latest creation Moonrise Kingdom. However the initial buzz at the festival wasn't about the eagerly anticipated movies that are coming to our cinemas in the coming months, it was about the lack of certain films that are being shown. Of the 22 films competing for the Palme d'Or, none of them have been directed by a woman.

An uproar commenced with French feminists and filmmakers making their voice heard by having a letter published in french newspaper Le Monde, which was backed by a french actor and two female directors. Last year, Cannes showed four films which were directed by women, including Julia Leighs Sleeping Beauty and Lynne Ramsey's We Need To Talk About Kevin. Is this years Cannes sexist? Kent-born Andrea Arnold, director of Fish Tank and Wurthering Heights, does not believe there is a problem.

"I would absolutely hate it if my film was selected because I was a woman...I would only want my film to be selected for the right reasons and not out of charity because I'm female.'

I think that the problem lies in the fact that the industry simply has more male directors, with only so many female directors worth talking about. The films shown at the Cannes is a representation of films from around the world that stand out. It is merely chance that the selection for 64th year there is no representation of female directing. General delegate Thierry Frémaux agrees that there is an issue of the lack of female directors, not just at the festival but in general. It has been suggested that the festival should bring in a quota system to allow more woman a chance of representation. I think rather than force them to choice a selected amount of female directed films, there should be a dedicated category to celebrate the women behind the camera.

Where Are Women in Film? Trudie Styler and Lucy Walker discuss at Guardian
Cannes Film Festival  Website

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