Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Stars gather at Cannes for the first festival since the Weinstein scandal

Stars gather at Cannes for the first festival since the Weinstein scandal

"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler - whose film is breaking box office records - is also likely to tackle the lack of black faces in Hollywood in a Cannes masterclass.

"There will be more and more [female filmmakers] in the future", Fremaux said, noting that at this year's festival a group of about 100 women will walk the red carpet as a group in a gesture meant to "affirm their presence".

As one senior film critic said in an informal chat: "The festival is telling us that it isn't about the media; it is about the filmmakers".

Saudi Arabia's first cinema in almost 35 years was open by United States movie theater giant America Multi Cinema (AMC) Entertainment in Riyadh on April 18. They are here because of the quality of work.

Australian actress Cate Blanchett is presdient of this year's Cannes jury. "I hope so", she said.

On the question of two filmmakers in the contest being under house arrest, Ms. Blanchett said though Cannes was not "political", it does open eyes and hearts to things around the world.

"This is not the Nobel Peace Prize, it's the Palme d'Or". For two decades, Weinstein had been an omnipresent figure at the festival, where several of his alleged sex crimes took place.

This year, the festival has established a hotline for sexual harassment victims at Cannes. "The whole world has changed".

Dressed in a tailored yellow suit, the 48-year-old made a stylish arrival at the Martinez Hotel in Cannes before posing for snaps alongside Ava DuVernay, Khadja Nin, Kristen Stewart and Chang Chen.

"What emerged in Cannes must be fought in Cannes", said Marlene Schiappa, France's secretary of state in charge of gender equality. According to Ms. Blanchett, profound and lasting impact can happen through raising specific issues than mere "generalisations and pontifications". Ms. Blanchett was quick to point out that being attractive and intelligent is not mutually exclusive. French law prevents a film that plays in theaters to appear on streaming services for three years. Speaking about the somewhat ridiculous task of picking the "best" piece of work in a medium so subjective, Blanchett said, "You have to accept that the task is impossible. without having a single conversation about any of the films here, I can say that we will disappoint and confound".

Since then, both sides have expressed some regret over the high-profile disagreement.

Despite a plea by USA director Oliver Stone and other supporters, Tehran has refused to lift a travel ban on the dissident Iranian master Jafar Panahi, whose "Three Faces" is in the running for the Palme d'Or. Sergei Loznitsa, another big name in the worldwide film scene leads the Un Certain Regard section where Nandita Das' MANTO will also be screened.

But Danish provocateur filmmaker Lars von Trier will return to Cannes seven years after being declared "persona non grata" for joking about being a Nazi and having sympathy for Hitler.

Pointedly though, he has not risked giving von Trier a press conference this time for his new serial killer flick, "The House That Jack Built" with Uma Thurman and Matt Dillon.

The new "Star Wars" spin-off, "Solo", is the only Hollywood blockbuster in a slightly less starry line-up than usual.

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