One of the things that I will enjoy watching over the next two weeks at the Cannes Film Festival is the high profile of one of the most talented female directors, Jane Campion. She is the 10th woman to chair the jury — men have chaired 57 times. When asked about her role as the jury chair she said that the next two weeks will be about “making everyone’s voices heard.”
She is one of the highest profile women directors in the business and being the only female Palme d’Or winner she gets called upon with regularity to participate in activities at Cannes. (Last year she headed up the short film jury.) And while Ms. Campion does not criticize the leadership at Cannes saying they have “been kind to me”, she continues to mentor women and bring attention to the lack of opportunities for women on a regular basis. I’m going to hope that Ms. Campion will take these next two weeks and her very high profile position to comment on how few films directed by women that she and her fellow jurors will be judging.
Also, there is some good news for those of us waiting to see the next Jane Campion film which is tucked away in a very interesting profile in The Guardian. She is close to confirming that she will direct the best selling book The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner for producer Scott Rudin.
She also discusses the expectations placed upon her after winning (co-winning) the Palme d’Or for The Piano.
I really loved Portrait [of a Lady], even if it didn’t satisfy people’s expectations about what I should be doing. It’s complex, because life isn’t a career.
We also learn that at the same time when she could have been building on the success of The Piano, she had a child that died and she of course took time to grieve and that led to her taking a different approach to her career.
She’s had two successful projects in a row — Bright Star and Top of the Lake — and now her seminal The Piano is about to be released on Bluray.