The comments by Campion, the only woman to have ever won the
festival's prestigious Palme d'Or prize, came on the opening day
of the 12-day event on the French Riviera, which in years past
has been criticised for not presenting enough films made by
"I think you'd have to say there's some inherent sexism in the
industry," Campion told journalists and film critics at a jury
press conference in advance of the screening of the festival's
opening-night film, Olivier Dahan's "Grace of Monaco".
"It does feel very undemocratic and women do notice," she said.
"Time and time again, we don't get our share of representation."
This year, the festival's 67th season, the event features a
majority female jury, with French actress Carole Bouquet, U.S.
director Sofia Coppola, South Korean actress Jeon Do-Yeon and
Iranian actress Leila Hatami joining Campion.
But out of 18 films, only two by female directors are in the
running for the Palme d'Or - "Le Meraviglie" (The Wonders) by
Italian director Alice Rohrwacher and "Futatsume No Mado" (Still
the Water) by Japan's Naomi Kawase.
Two years ago, influential French daily Le Monde published an
open letter signed by female directors and actresses accusing
the film industry of a double standard.
"At Cannes, women show their breasts, men show their films,"
the letter said.
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Jane Roscoe, the newly appointed director of the London Film School,
agreed that film remains a male-dominated industry.
The fact that Cannes named a mostly female jury "does not mask the
reality that the film industry, like many others, remains a male
bastion despite some progress by women," she told Reuters.
"There are still many gaps in the industry where women are
under-represented," Roscoe said.
The fact that the jury composition this year became so talked-about
in the industry highlighted the discrepancies, she said.
Women are routinely featured on the festival's posters and often
take pride of place as lead characters, such as this year's "Grace
of Monaco" starring Nicole Kidman.
What is lacking in cinema today, Campion said, is the stories that
"It's not that I resent the male film making, but there is something
that women are doing that we don't get to know enough about," said
the director of "Sweetie" and "The Piano".
(Additional reporting by Michael Roddy; Writing by Alexandria Sage;
Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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