Cannes 2024: Greta Gerwig addresses #MeToo movement in France at Cannes press conference

“I have seen substantive change in the American film community, and I think it’s important that we continue to expand that conversation,” Gerwig said

Published - May 15, 2024 11:44 am IST

Greta Gerwig, Jury President of the 77th Cannes Film Festival attends a press conference before the opening ceremony of the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 14, 2024. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Greta Gerwig, Jury President of the 77th Cannes Film Festival attends a press conference before the opening ceremony of the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 14, 2024. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne | Photo Credit: CLODAGH KILCOYNE

'Barbie' director Greta Gerwig addressed the growing #MeToo movement in France at the jury press conference on the opening day of this year's Cannes Film Festival, reported Variety.

"I think people in the community of movies telling us stories and trying to change things for the better is only good," Gerwig said when she was asked about #MeToo-related rumours buzzing ahead of the festival. "I have seen substantive change in the American film community, and I think it's important that we continue to expand that conversation. So I think it's only moving everything in the correct direction. Keep those lines of communication open," she added.

Gerwig is the president of this year's competition jury, which will award the coveted Palme d'Or at the end of the 11-day festival. The jury includes Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona, Turkish actress and screenwriter Ebru Ceylan, Italian actor and producer Pierfrancesco Favino, "Killers of the Flower Moon" star Lily Gladstone, French actor Eva Green, Japanese filmmaker and producer Hirokazu Kore-eda, Lebanese actor and filmmaker Nadine Labaki, and French actor Omar Sy.

Bayona took a different stance on the subject, supporting general delegate Thierry Fremaux, who stated in a news conference on Monday that the festival's emphasis should be the films.

"I feel this issue does not affect cinema in particular," said 'The Society of the Snow' director. "It's much more widespread, and we're here to focus on the films."Labour unrest is also expected this year, with the French collective 'Sous les ecrans la deche' calling for a walkout. The organisation is contesting proposed changes in labour rules that will reduce jobless benefits by more than half. The organisation brings together hundreds of festival workers, including projectionists, drivers, and caterers.

"I certainly support labour movements and we've certainly gone through this just now with our unions," Gerwig said. "I hope that the festival workers can form an agreement that is good for them and supports them and supports the festival."

According to Variety, the ongoing war in Gaza and the incendiary debate around Israel and Palestine came up when the publication asked the jury about Cannes' decision to ban protests on the Croisette. Earlier in the conference, Favino referred to the festival as a "free space," and was pressed on how ignoring the Gaza situation is perhaps impossible -- after all, the official Cannes program has a film about Gaza and jury member Sy recently urged politicians to take action to stop Israel's ground invasion of Rafah.

"When I say free space, it's not just physical space. It's also the possibility of time," Favino said. "One of the most difficult things we could do is seek beauty. Reminding the world that there's beauty in the world with filmmakers. Movies can talk to people ... if we look for beauty, then we might look for peace. "Cannes Film Festival kicks off with the premiere of Quentin Dupieux's French comedy 'The Second Act', reported Variety. (ANI)

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