Jane Campion is the only female director to have ever won the Cannes Film Festival’s most prestigious prize, the Palme d’Or (for 1993’s “The Piano”). The prize is an honor she clearly holds in great esteem, having agreed to head this year’s jury and having presided over the shorts jury in 2013. Still, the distinction is one that bothers her. When the moderator at today’s Cannes jury press conference addressed Campion as “Lady Palme,” the filmmaker appeared visibly uncomfortable.
Campion elaborated on her grimace midway through the conference in this key quote, during which she called out the “inherent sexism in the industry.” Read it in full below:
“… There is some inherent sexism in the industry. Thierry Frémaux told us that us only seven percent, out of the 1,800 films submitted to the Cannes Film Festival, were directed by women. He was proud to say that we had 20 percent in all of the programs. Nevertheless, it feels very undemocratic, and women do notice. Time and time again we don’t get our share of representation. Excuse me gentlemen, but the guys seem to eat all the cake. It’s not that I resent the male filmmakers. I love all of them. But there is something that women are thinking of doing that we don’t get to know enough about. It’s always a surprise when a woman filmmaker does come about.”