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The Cannes Film Festival opens today, one day before the traditional start. The 71st edition of the event is an example in how the film world is facing changes.
Festival Artistic Director Thierry Frémaux called an unusual press conference to explain changes in protocol in this year’s edition. Among them is selfie-ban on the red carpet to bring more dignity to the event. Offenders will simply be denied entry, warned the Artistic Director.
You don’t come to Cannes to see yourselves, you come to see films … and in a selfie people always look really ugly,” Frémaux said.
The 2018 edition is the first since the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements swept across the film industry. As a response, the prestigious festival is inviting 100 women to walk the red carpet on Saturday to “affirm their presence” in the world. Cannes has also set up an email and telephone hotline for reporting any sexual harassment.
The change the festival wishes to see, though, is still not evident as only three out of 21 directors are women: French Eva Husson, Lebanese Nadine Labaki and Italian Alice Rohrwacher.
This year’s festival sees the return of Danish director Lars von Trier who, in 2011 was expelled from Cannes after saying at a press conference that he “understands” and “sympathises with” Adolf Hitler.
The Director claimed that his remarks were misunderstood and taken out of context. He is now back to the festival with The House That Jack Built, a film about a serial killer (Matt Dillon).