71st Cannes Film Festival opens with drama on screen and off

May 09, 2018, 01:20
71st Cannes Film Festival opens with drama on screen and off

Only one female filmmaker, Jane Campion, has won the Palme. Blanchett asked. "Not specifically". But they're not there due to their gender.

The trailblazing director, screenwriter, producer and distributor, who directed the Oscar-nominated civil rights drama "Selma", is the first African-American woman to helm a film with a budget over $100 million - this year's "A Wrinkle In Time" starring Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey. This year, only three of the 21 films in the main Competition have been helmed by women, but the festival's 18-film Un certain regard selection features as many as seven women directors.

Organisers announced earlier this year that Australian-born actress Cate would head the board of the festival.

Other stars spotted on the red carpet include Penelope Cruz and Kristen Stewart. The festival this year has its pockets full with no less than a dozen films with LGBT themes, and others tackling child abuse, male prostitution and an eye-watering DIY sex change. Absolutely. Do I expect and hope that's going to happen in the future?

"Days ago in Lille a declaration was made to say 'We should have been more respectful, diplomatic.' That's what I also believe", said Fremaux.

"Being attractive doesn't preclude being intelligent".

Speaking at a press conference, he added: "The cinema has always been in the hands of men". Cannes blocked Netflix from attending, by mandating that all films in competition must have theatrical distribution in France. Blanchett said with a raised eyebrow to fellow jury members Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart (an actress who has recently moved into directing).

On the Netflix debate, DuVernay only referenced the situation vaguely. French law prevents a film that plays in theaters from appearing on streaming services for three years.

Since then, both sides have expressed some regret over the high-profile disagreement.

Also likely absent from Cannes will be two filmmakers living under house arrest in their home countries. Sergei Loznitsa, another big name in the worldwide film scene leads the Un Certain Regard section where Nandita Das' MANTO will also be screened.

Amidst the less starry line-up at the festival, the new "Star Wars" spin-off, "Solo" is the only Hollywood blockbuster.

Von Trier was also reinstituted this year after being declared "persona non grata" in 2011 for joking about being a Nazi and having sympathy for Hitler.

Another Iranian with a movie in competition, Jafar Panahi, will be unable to attend the festival as he is officially banned from film-making by his government. The Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is set for an global premiere on May 15.

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