Thierry Fremaux may have generated some positive headlines with a Jane Campion-led female-majority competition jury and the prominence of jury presidents Andrea Arnold and Rebecca Zlowtowski at Critics’ Week, but it’s now clear that Cannes has barely budged toward gender equality since its all-male line-up in 2012.
As if including only two female directors (out of a total of 18) in the main competition wasn’t demeaning enough, Fremaux announced six more films to be added to the festival lineup, none of them directed by women. This was after boasting that the 2014 fest events will feature 15 female filmmakers — a figure inflated by the fact that one of the showcased films is helmed by five women.
As Melissa pointed out in a post last month, there simply is no excuse for this kind of routine discrimination. She wrote,
“I refuse to accept the bullshit that women are not making ‘good enough’ films. Because ‘good enough’ is simply a shield and a code — just another way to keep women out by pretending there is some objective standard for quality when all judgments are subjective and influenced by the viewer’s own tastes, background, and biases. …
“After Mr. Fremaux boasted about his fifteen women, he went on to talk about how he has been in touch regularly with Terence Malick about his incomplete film. I wonder how many women he tracks like he tracks Malick? I’m guessing none. That’s the culture of Cannes, where you see certain male directors over and over again. More unacknowledged biases.”