Cannes Film Festival jury refutes ‘sexism’ claim

London: The jury for the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or has clarified its stand over claims of sexism prompted by the lack of female filmmakers in the running.

Critics had complained that all 22 films that are competing have been directed by men, many of who are past winners of the award.

“I would absolutely hate it if my film was selected because I was a woman,” the BBC quoted Andrea Arnold, British director and jury member as saying.

“I would only want my film to be selected for the right reasons,” Arnold said.

The festival opens with the film ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ later.

Starring Bruce Willis and Ed Norton it was directed by Wes Anderson and is one of the films being screened in the competition.

Others who have made to the famed cut include British Ken Loach, Michael Haneke and Jacques Audiard - all previous winners of the prize.

In an open letter to the media, a group of French filmmakers have accused the organisers of failing to recognise the achievements of female directors.

But speaking at a press conference earlier, Arnold said the lack of women in competition reflected the industry as a whole.

“Last year was obviously a good year,” she said.

“I was asked this earlier and it’s true the world over, in the world of film there are just not many woman film directors.

“I guess Cannes is a small pocket that represents how it is out there in the world and that’s a great pity, a great disappointment,” she said.

Led by Italian director Nanni Moretti and including fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Oscar-winning writer and filmmaker Alexander Payne and Scots actor Ewan McGregor - the jury will watch all the nominated films and announce a winner on 27 May.

German actress Diane Kruger, known for films including Inglourious Bustards and Troy, is one of four women on the jury.

“My impression is that women are made welcome in Cannes,” Kruger insisted.

Other female filmmakers who are showing at Cannes include the first female Saudi director Haiffa al Mansour and France’s Catherine Corsini and Sylvie Verheyde - who are competing in the Un Certain Regard category.