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Thierry Frémaux • Artistic Director of the Cannes Film Festival

“Jane Campion was not chosen by any means because she is a woman”

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- The Artistic Director and General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival tells us about the success of Paolo Sorrentino as well as the election of Jane Campion at the head of the jury of the 2014 edition

Thierry Frémaux  • Artistic Director of the Cannes Film Festival

For the past few years, the Cannes Film Festival demonstrated its talent when it comes to selecting the next successful films in its official selection. Its unexpected support to The Artist [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile
]
led the French film to the Oscar, in the same way that it had done with the Palme d’Or awarded to Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile
]
 in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Invited by his friend Emir Kusturica to the Kustendorf Film Festival (Serbia), Thierry Frémaux answered Cineuropa’s questions. He is delighted that another one of his promises, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, is winning every possible prize with The Great Beauty [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
film profile
]
and praises the election of Jane Campion as President of the jury of the festival’s next edition.

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Cineuropa: What do you think about Paolo Sorrentino’s current triumph, since you personally bet on him as a director?
Thierry Frémaux: I am doubly delighted. I am first of all happy for him, as he is one of the most talented directors of our time and deserves this quasi-unanimous recognition, be it at the Golden Globes, the European Cinema Prizes or the Oscars. I am also personally happy because I always backed Paolo Sorrentino and many of his films were selected in Cannes (This Must Be the Place [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
film profile
]
, The Consequences of Love, Il Divo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicola Giuliano
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
interview: Philippe Desandre
film profile
]
, The Family Friend, The Great Beauty). Before, people used to ask me: “Why this unconditional support?”. Now, no one asks me that question. 

Jane Campion is the tenth woman to preside the Jury in Cannes, but the only one to have won a Palme d’Or. Why?
Jane Campion won the Palme d’Or twice, first with her short Peel, then with The Piano. We had a discussion about this a few years ago. The fact that not more women are being rewarded is not a problem of the Cannes Film Festival but of cinema in general. We show the reality of this industry. Cannes is the consequence of what happens in the cinematographic industry. It is true that it is a world in which men are at a majority.

Some could see a feminist choice in the election of Jane Campion at the head of the next jury or the triumph of works such as Blue is the Warmest Colour, which is in favour of a certain feminine visibility?
In a way, it is true that we could say that the election of Jane Campion is a feminist choice. She was not, however, by any means chosen because she is a woman. She was chosen because she is a great artist. She deserves it just as much as Steven Spielberg, there is no doubt about it. As for Blue is the Warmest Colour, once again, the reward did not come just from Cannes but from cinema in general. 

(Translated from Spanish)

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