Who's who in the Cannes film festival jury

Mahira-Khan

After years of spotless red carpets, Cannes Film Festival 2018 opens with a rather political affair on Tuesday.

Despite the "female majority" jury, the irony of just three women directors competing for the top award - Eva Husson for Girls of the Sun, Nadine Labaki for Capernaum and Alice Rohrwacher for Lazzro Felice (Happy as Lazzaro) - wasn't lost on many. Only one female filmmaker, Jane Campion, has ever won the Palme.

An Italian actress identified as Asia Argento made claims that the movie mogul, raped her in his luxury hotel suit when she was 21.

The council aims to present the kingdom's movie production capabilities and filming locations, as well as enabling the movie producers of the country to build networks with worldwide filmmakers, the statement added.

But Blanchett said the increased awareness of women's issues would have "no direct impact" on who wins.

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The Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious annual film festival held each May in the south of France, announced a slate of changes on Monday aimed at improving the gender balance of the festival and ensuring women filmmakers and creators are fairly represented.

Others have pressured Cannes to confront its role in the scandal.

The festival tried until the very last minute to have the film premiere in the Competition but Netflix, which has decided not to bring any of its titles to Cannes this year, refused to yield. Weinstein has denied any nonconsensual sex. She told reporters that gender equality will play a part in this and all future Cannes festivals. Ms. Blanchett was quick to point out that being attractive and intelligent is not mutually exclusive. "If you remove everyone's names-it's hard, when someone has been so profoundly influential on global cinema, not to bring their body of work into your experience [as a jury member], and he continues to experiment", Blanchett said. Two Japanese filmmakers are also in the Competition: Hirokazu Kore-eda, whose films have always been popular in Thailand, will present the domestic drama Shoplifters; while Ryusuke Hamaguchi, whose Happy Hour screened in Bangkok previous year, will make his first Cannes presence with Asako I & II. "And next year will be episode three", he said.

But Weinstein isn't the only alleged abuser who's been celebrated at Cannes - this year the festival will welcome back director Lars Von-Trier after a seven-year ban.

Does feminism clash with the glamorous side of Cannes -the red carpet, for instance? The festival has asked that Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov and Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi be given permission to attend the premieres of their films, but that appears unlikely.

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