France’s foremost newspaper, Le Monde, published an interesting article entitled Les internautes soulignent un conflit d’interets pour Nanni Moretti, or The Web Surfers Underline a Conflict of Interests for Nanni Moretti about the possible confict of interest between the President of the Jury of the Cannes Film Festival, Nanni Moretti, and the prizewinners. When someone gave me a “tip” ahead of the awards, saying that Moretti’s companies, Sacher Films and Sacher Distribuzione, were named after his favorite food, the Austrian Sacher Torte, I took it as a joke. But truth be told, Austrian Michael Haneke’s winning film, Amour, was truly great, a deeply moving and inevitably sad story told with more light than I’ve ever seen in a Haneke film (and I have seen most of them). The redemptive power of love is surrounded with a golden halo giving greater space and more breathing room for inner contemplation than any scene in last year’s Palme d’Or winner, The Tree of Life whose message (I think) was the same.
With a jury of four women out of eight members, it’s a shame that among the 22 films in Competition, there was not a film by a woman to be seen. If this is a concern to you, as it is to the majority of women in the film business that I’ve spoken with and to many men as well, you can sign a petition to register your concerns here. You can also read and see the opening comments of the jury here.
I have translated the Le Monde article by Aureliano Tonet here:
The Web Surfers Underline a Conflict of Interests for Nanni Moretti
Every year, as soon as the Cannes awards are announced, scrutinizers of the Festival of Cannes experience heartfelt joy on social networks as they tear apart or vilify the oracle rendered by the jury. This year, the Palm d’Or winner, Michael Haneke for Love, hardly suffered from dispute. Over the internet, criticisms concentrated on the remainder of the prizes allotted on Sunday May 27. Four of six films awarded by the jury chaired by Nanni Moretti are indeed coproductions and/or distributed by the same company, Le Pacte. This includes Reality (ISA: Fandango Portobello) of Matteo Garrone (Grand Prix), The Angels’ Share (ISA: Wild Bunch) of Ken Loach (Jury Prize), Post Tenebras Lux (ISA: Mantarraya) of Carlos Reygadas (Best Director), and Beyond the Hills (ISA: Wild Bunch) of Cristian Mungiu (Best Actress Prize and Best Screenplay). In addition, Le Pacte has coproduced the last film of Nanni Moretti, Habemus papam (ISA: Fandango Portobello), that it also distributed in the French cinemas. This company is run by the Jean Labadie, ex-owner of Bac Films. Prior to the founding of Le Pacte in 2008, Bac Films was the historical distributor of films of Nanni Moretti in France. In addition, Le Pacte presented a fifth feature film on the 22nd May which also counted in the official competition, The Taste of the Money (ISA: Daisy and Cynergy Entertainment in So. Korea) of Sang-Soo IM, snubbed by the jury. Contrary to Holy Motors (ISA: Wild Bunch) of Leos Carax, or Rust and Bone (ISA: Flanders Image) of Jacques Audiard, which came out empty-handed, The Angels’ Share and especially Post Tenebras Lux received a very mixed reception on the part of the international press.
It is not the first time that a suspicion of a conflict of interest sullies the decision with a Cannes jury. In 2004, Quentin Tarantino had offered the Palm d’Or to Fahrenheit 9/11 of Michael Moore and both worked with the same producers, Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Five years later, in 2009, Isabelle Huppert had presided over the jury which awarded The White Ribbon of Michael Haneke, who had directed her on several occasions.
In addition to Nanni Moretti, the jury of the Festival of Cannes this year included Hiam Abbas ♀, Andrea Arnold ♀, Emmanuelle Devos ♀, Jean Paul Gaultier, Diane Kruger ♀, Ewan McGregor, Alexander Payne and Raoul Peck.