Cannes Film Festival in legal dispute with producer of Terry Gilliam film

After years of spotless red carpets, Cannes Film Festival 2018 opens with a rather political affair on Tuesday.

After a well-documented and controversial back and forth, Netflix decided that it would not be attending Cannes this year.

From the time it first took place in 1946, the Cannes Film Festival has been dominated by male directors.

This year's jury is headed by Cate Blanchett, an outspoken member of the Time's Up movement. Questions of gender equality are especially pointed at Cannes, which for the last 20 years had been a seaside playground for Harvey Weinstein, long one of the festival's most ubiquitous operators.

The fact that only three of 21 directors in the running for the top prize are women - the same number as previous year - has also rankled. Asked if she was proud to be one of the three women in competition, Labaki replies: "I'm proud but I'm proud to be there, full stop".

"Do I think it will happen more in the future?"

She said the only incident she recalled was four or five years ago, when she sent two seamstresses to the room of two film stars early one morning. "We will deal with we have in hand", she elaborated further.

The last major prize victor was Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, who took home the Grand Prix for "The Wonders" in 2014.

"Many wheeler-dealers and producers still parade with paid-for models or prostitutes on their arms, which makes female film-makers deeply uneasy about what, precisely, is valued by the money men".

More news: Buddhist community in Bangladesh celebrates Buddha Purnima

Netflix's surprise move is seen as retaliation for a new Cannes rule banning movies that are not first released in French cinemas from the competition.

'They are there because of the quality of their work. "We will assess them as filmmakers, as we should be".

Still, Weinstein's shadow is darkening this year's festival.

Cannes has set up a hotline for victims to report any abuse during the festival and will host a series of discussions on the issue.

Also making a return to Cannes is "Star Wars".

She has the top job as the president of the jury at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.

This year, just three of the 21 films in competition at Cannes were directed by women; in historical terms, the festival's top award, the Palme d'Or, has been given to a female director just once, to Jane Campion.

DuVernay, the filmmaker of "Selma" and the Netflix documentary "13th", said that the power of movies is the ability to "speak to each other through cinema".

The Weinstein affair may have rocked the film world, but the local tourism industry in Cannes expects little disruption. "The whole world has changed".

  • Carlos Nash