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Cannes adds two more women

Cannes has been in the firing line in recent years for the lack of diversity among the directors whose films it selects.

PUB_Cannes-2015It’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).

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