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4 Women, 5 Men in Cannes Jury Lineup

From left: filmmakers Denis Villeneuve and Ava DuVernay, and actress Kristen StewartFrom left: filmmakers Denis Villeneuve and Ava DuVernay, and actress Kristen Stewart

Filmmakers Ava DuVernay and Denis Villeneuve and actors Kristen Stewart and Léa Seydoux will serve on the jury of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, May 8-19.

Under the presidency of actress Cate Blanchett, the jury includes five men and four women from seven nationalities and five continents, Variety reported.

Also serving on the jury are Chinese actor Chang Chen, French director Robert Guédiguian, Burundian singer Khadja Nin and Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev.

While some have criticized the relatively low number of women directors in official competition, Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux told Variety last week that he has been conscious of the gender makeup of the jury.

“For the last four years, I’ve become much more concerned about the presence of women at the festival. I’ve been having discussions with intelligent women like Jessica Chastain and listened to their advice about ways to improve certain things. We’ve started paying more attention to the gender ratio on our selection committees, for instance. Right now, two out of the three committees have as many women as men,” Fremaux said.

Chastain was on last year’s festival jury, which was headed by Pedro Almodovar.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Arrival’ director Villeneuve has had several films at the festival including ‘Sicario,’ while Stewart has appeared in Cannes selection including ‘Personal Shopper’ and ‘Clouds of Sils Maria.’

Chen appeared in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ ‘Happy Together’ and ‘Forever Young.’ Activist filmmaker Guediguian won the annual French award the Prix Louis Delluc for ‘Marius and Jeannette’ in 1997.

Nin, whose music is a mix of pop, African and Afro-Cuban rhythms, was awarded the Prize for Feminine Action by the African Women’s League. Seydoux starred in ‘Blue is the Warmest Color,’ which won the Palme d’Or in 2013. She also appeared in ‘Spectre’ and ‘The Lobster.’

‘Leviathan’ director Zvyagintsev won the Cannes jury prize for ‘Loveless’ in 2017.

This year two films by Iranian directors will vie for the Palme d’Or in the competition section of the festival.

Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish thriller ‘Everybody Knows’, starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, which is set to open the festival, and Jafar Panahi’s ‘3 Faces’ will compete with movies from celebrated filmmakers including Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard and Oscar-winning director Pawel Pawlikowski.

 

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