You Cannes Not Be Serious!

by Melissa Silverstein on May 5, 2010

in Politics,Women Directors

The rumblings of dismay and dissatisfaction have coalesced and found a voice.  Filmdirecting4women, an organization that supports women directors out of England has organized a petition: You Cannes Not Be Serious! to show our concerted pissedoffness about the lack of women in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Here’s the petition:

To:  The Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival
As people who care about and are interested in films we must protest the lack of female directors in competition for the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Women make up over half of cinema audiences and we demand a fairer representation of female directors in the main competition.

We are raising our voices in protest in hopes that in the future this will never happen again.

We are watching. We will not be silent.

Go here to sign the petition.

They are also going to sell t-shirts and are working to organize an event at the film festival.  Here’s the Facebook page to join to keep updated on news.

Please spread the word of this petition.  Let’s get it to go viral and make a difference!

Here’s a statement from the organizer Ruth Torjussen:

As a writer/director and also as a teacher to female film students I was totally dismayed about the news of the Cannes line-up. I have always thought of the Palme d’Or as possibly the highest award in film as Cannes covers much more of world cinema than the Academy Awards.

So is there really not one woman in the whole wide world who made a great movie last year?

I cannot believe for one minute that this is true and the fact that the organisers can announce such a line-up without adding something about an urgent need for more investment in womens films is equally disturbing.

By organising this protest I hope for several things, mainly that no major festival will ever do this again. Secondly that we can begin to take a more proactive role in our film-making futures as women.

From the end of this month my company filmdirecting4women will be launching its own production fund which will only back short films directed by women. We are only a tiny outfit but I strongly believe that other companies should be taking the same step. As someone said after Kathryn Bigelow’s win “Nothing will change until women hold the purse strings”. If you are going to Cannes and want to join in the fun (!) email me at and please EVERYONE sign the petition.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

takingitoutside May 5, 2010 at 12:58 PM

In comparison, the GI Film Festival in Washington, DC this weekend features 7 female filmmakers (out of 41) on their website: That’s not great by any means, but if I thought any film festival would have a low number of female filmmakers, it would be one focused on the armed forces.

e May 5, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Hey, this is terrific. I’ve posted too, love the idea of these links round the globe:

Dillon Margaris November 9, 2011 at 2:06 PM

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