Gender Debate begins at Cannes due to low number of Female Directors

Cannes(France): “Mad Max: Fury Road” might see Tom Hardy behind the wheel of the film’s violent anti-hero, but – as the movie makes its premiere at Cannes – it’s Charlize Theron that’s getting much of the attention.

Charlize Theron has received wide acclamation due to her role in Mad Max: Fury Road

Charlize Theron has received wide acclamation due to her role in Mad Max: Fury Road

The apocalyptic action reboot of the 1980s franchise sees the South African actress driving more or less on equal footing with Hardy’s road warrior.

Talk here in the town this year is of the role of women in cinema – both in front of and behind the camera.

“There’s way more opportunities and such explored opportunities, such conflicted opportunities for men. And that very rarely happens for women and when they do come along, people really respond to them. They’re always the movies that people talk about the most, they’re the critically acclaimed ones”, says Charlize Theron.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux provoked the gender debate after remarking that the number of female directors in film was too low.

Some, like actress Isabella Rossillini, have said that motherhood is one thing that has been harder to integrate into her career.

But French director Emmanuella Bercot suggests it should be the movies themselves, not who makes them, that people look at. “What matters is that the films chosen are beautiful, no matter the sex of the person who directed them. But it will take time for women to be seen in the same way as men and it’s normal”, she said.

This year is the first festival in decades to be opened by a female-directed film. Two of the 19 in-competition showpieces are directed by women.