Cannes has been in the firing line in recent years for the lack of diversity among the directors whose films it selects.
It’s not been helped by some of the potentially embarrassing but possibly honest responses to criticism from festival director Thierry Frémaux, including a statement to Variety: “Can you imagine us telling a director, ‘Look, you made a beautiful film but we’re going to take a film directed by a woman instead’? These are stupid considerations.”
Recently the festival announced a partnership with Kering to promote a programme of events focused on women in film. This week it’s followed up that announcement with two more women-centric announcements.
Isabella Rosselini will head the Un Certain Regard jury. The already-announced heads of the main competition jury will be brothers Ethan and Joel Coen.
Today, the festival announced that it will open (for the first time in 28 years) with a filmdirected by a woman. Emmanuelle Bercot’s La Tête Haute (Heads Up) is a French comedy-drama about a troubled teen’s bumpy journey to adulthood.
Avoiding further dancing in the minefield of gender politics, Frémaux said the decision was a reflection of the festival’s desire to start with a “bold and moving” film.
Already announced is George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (out of competition). Cannes will announce much of its 2015 line-up early Friday (NZ time).