Actress on Cannes #MeToo barricades

Judith Godrèche's short film highlights victims of industry insider sexual abuse

by Richard Mowe

Moi Aussi
Moi Aussi Photo: © Maneki Films
A surprise last minute addition has been added to the Cannes Film Festival’s roster with the inclusion of a short film directed by actress Judith Godrèche who recently has called out sexual harassment, claiming that she had been the victim as a minor of grooming by directors Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon. Both have denied the allegations of sexual assault.

The film Moi Aussi (Me Too) will be screened at the Un Certain Regard opening ceremony in the Salle Debussy of the Palais des Festivals and at the Cinéma de la Plage, with free admission, on May 15.

Judith Godrèche
Judith Godrèche Photo: UniFrance
Godrèche who has appeared in more than 50 films, aims to highlight the stories of victims of sexual violence. The festival organisers in a statement said: "These individual experiences add to her own, underscoring their sadly universal nature. The Festival de Cannes thus wishes to give resonance to these personal accounts.”

She made a high profile address at France’s César awards ceremony February in which she called for “an end to the culture of silence in the French film industry around sexual harassment and abuse.”

She has been deluged with accounts which gave rise to the short. As part of the Cannes statement Godrèche is quoted as saying: “Suddenly, before me was a crowd of victims, a reality that also represented France, so many stories from all social backgrounds and generations. Then the question was, what I was going to do with them? What do you do when you’re overwhelmed by what you hear, by the sheer volume of testimonies?”

The actress wrote and directed her first film, Girls Cry in 2010 and returned to the director's chair in 2023 with a series Icons Of French Cinema.

Meanwhile the Cannes organisers have reacted to the threat of a strike by a group of freelance festival workers who are organising to protest about labour reforms that could cut their unemployment indemnities. Any action by the group who include projectionists and drivers, could disrupt the logistics of the Festival opening on 14 May across various strands.

The group said in an open letter regarding the Government unemployment legislation: "These reforms are throwing festival workers in such precariousness that the majority of us will have to give up our jobs, thus jeopardising the events we take part in.”

The festival organisers responded by saying they are aware of the difficulties faced by some of their staff. “We hope that solutions will be found, and wee are prepared to set up lasting dialogue to support them. The institutions and the unions need to come together around the bargaining table. This is the work that must now be undertaken collectively.”

The Cannes Film Festival runs from 14 to 25 May.

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