Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cannes Red Carpet and Female Directors

On occasion of its 65th birthday, the Cannes Film Festival is marred by the absence of female nominees for the Palme D'Or. The only woman to have won the prestigious film award is Jane Campion for her film The Piano in 1993.

Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior

Against facts, there are no arguments. Cannes director, Thierry Fremaux acknowledges that the lack of women selected for Cannes' top prize reflects a wider industry issue.

Diane Kruger in Giambattista Valli

This gender disparity means we end up having a standard of films and particularly of women's roles which do not translate the wider perspective and diversity of human experiences in the world.   

Freida Pinto in Michael Angel

For instance, Caramel, a film directed by a Lebanese woman, Nadine Labaki, which premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, opened the door to a different culture and offered another viewpoint.

Jennifer Connelly in Gucci

The influential film industry should reflect a wide range of perspectives, the argument so far has been women should not be selected just because they are women, this is a valid point but the question to be asked is why there are so few female directors?

Naomi Watts in Marchesa

Considering women represent half the world's population, they should have a stronger voice not only in the film industry but  also in governments, businesses and science. There is still a lot to be done to create more opportunities for women in these and other areas.

"The studio system is kind of an old boy's system and it's difficult for them to trust women to be capable." Jane Campion

Fan Bingbing in Christopher Bu

The gender disparity needs to be addressed more and more, particularly in high profile events such as these, which attract worldwide media coverage. The lack of female nominees is both shocking and ironic.

The poster girl for Cannes Festival 2012 is Marilyn Monroe and her struggles against stereotyped women's roles and male-dominated movies, which led her to set up her own production company - Marilyn Monroe Productions - are sadly still relevant today.

Eva Longoria in Marchesa

Despite the commercial success of films aimed at women, female directors still need to lead the way in challenging preconceived ideas and reveal our inner strenght which goes far beyond seduction and glamour. 

Other related blog posts:
Marilyn Monroe by Lawrence Shciller
A Close-Up: Audrey Hepburn
Power Women: a Journey