Séamas McSwiney has decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in top international publications. As our guest film correspondent he will be sending us special reports from the Cannes 2014 film festival.
‘GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FILM! What place for women in today's film industry?' This was the catchy title of the European Audiovisual Industry's annual workshop conference at Cannes this year. The UKFilm pavilion held a similar debate a day before. And these are but two of many expressions of discontent regarding the presence and the place of women in the film industry. Such rumblings are neither new nor unjustified in the face of the statistics and tendencies.
A favourite among film feminists (of both sexes) is the one regarding the depiction of women or the famous Bechdel Test (Google it). Basically, for a film to pass this test, "it has to have at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something besides a man." It is surprising the number of films that don't pass.
Still Cannes does its best to redress the imbalance in its own way. Thierry Fremaux (the Festival's director) insists that he favours films from women when the quality justifies it, claiming that a higher proportion of female directed films are selected than are proposed to him.