Sofia Coppola might have made history by becoming the second female filmmaker ever to win the Best Director award at Cannes for her feminist adaptation of ‘The Beguiled’, and we celebrated that alongside her.
However, that’s not to say we should let Hollywood off the hook for the glaring inequalities women in the film industry face – as well as the narrow-minded way female characters in film are actually portrayed.
One woman determined to highlight exactly that was Cannes juror Jessica Chastain. When asked at a post-ceremony press conference what her main take-away from watching 20 films in 10 days was, she said that she found the “representation of female characters on film… disturbing”. Its an answer that is both refreshing and concerning in its honesty. And it seems Selma director Ava DuVernay very much agrees with her, too:
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 29, 2017
How to fix the issue? Include more female directors in the selection process, she said.
Director Maren Ade and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing echoed Chastain’s thoughts on women in film, while juror Will Smith quite rightly added that “a couple of black folks won’t hurt there either”.