Gerwig living the dream in Cannes

#MeToo, strikes, sitting in judgment and Donald Trump.. Barbie director and her jury take stock of the task head

by Richard Mowe

Omar Sy, Lily Gladstone, Greta Gerwig and Ebru Ceylan
Omar Sy, Lily Gladstone, Greta Gerwig and Ebru Ceylan Photo: Richard Mowe
There was no holding back Barbie director Greta Gerwig, flanked by Ebru Cylan, Lily Gladstone and Omar Sy, during the jury press conference earlier today at the Cannes Film Festival.

She was total pushover for the role of jury president: "One of my favourite things to do is to watch cinema and discuss it. It feels thrilling to be a part of it. I'm still shocked at being chosen in the wake of previous female presidents such as Jane Campion. I’m living the dream."

Greta Gerwig on the #MeToo movement: 'I can't speak to timelines, but the movement is evolving'
Greta Gerwig on the #MeToo movement: 'I can't speak to timelines, but the movement is evolving' Photo: Richard Mowe
On the #MeToo issues rumbling around Cannes, she said: "I think people in the community of movies telling us stories and trying to change things for the better is only good. I have seen substantive change in the American film community, and I think it’s important that we continue to expand that conversation. So I think it’s only moving everything in the correct direction. It's only good to keep those lines of communication open.”

She added: "I can't speak to timelines, but the movement is evolving. It's not a destination we all reach together. There have been many concrete changes in the industry, and one example is the rise of intimacy co-ordinators on film sets."

Joining her on the jury which decide the Palme d’Or among other prizes at the end of the festival on 25 May, are actress Gladstone, who became he first Native American to be Oscar-nominated for Best Actress for her performance in last year's Cannes critical hit Killers Of The Flower Moon and French actors Eva Green and Omar Sy. Alongside them was Japanese director and Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda, (his Monster was screened in Competition last year and won Best Screenplay); Lebanese director and screenwriter Nadine Labaki, whose film Capernaum won the Cannes jury prize in 2018; and Spanish director and screenwriter Juan Antonio Bayona, who recently directed Society Of The Snow.

Omar Sy
Omar Sy Photo: Richard Mowe
The ranks are completed by Italian actor Pierfrancisco Favino, who starred in last year’s Commandante (opening film of the Venice Film Festival); and Turkish screenwriter and photographer Ebru Ceylan, the wife and long-time collaborator of Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2014 Palme d’Or winner for Winter Sleep).

When challenged about the light number of women filmmakers in the competition Gerwig responded: "I've been making movies and going to film festivals for 20 years, and this has never not been a question. The numbers are increasing, and it's certainly moving in the right direction. Every year, I cheer when more and more women are represented.”

Gerwig admitted to being intrigued about the film featuring the life of a young Donald Trump, The Apprentice. "I try to come to every film I see with an open mind and heart, and I'm willing to be surprised. I don't want to make assumptions as to what (The Apprentice) is. Sometimes a film ends up being about something completely different. I look forward to watching it.”

Spoken like a true President with a sense of inbuilt diplomacy.

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