Jane Campion hit out at gender inequality as her presidency of the Cannes Film Festival jury began, bemoaning “inherent sexism” in the film industry.
The legendary New Zealand-born, Australian-based director – the only woman to win the top prize at Cannes – has long lamented a lack of female directors at the highest level.
She again voiced her concerns as members of this year’s jury fronted a press conference on Wednesday, saying she had been told by Cannes selectors that 93 per cent of the films submitted this year were by men.
“There is some inherent sexism in the industry,” said Campion, who won Cannes’ Palme d’Or for The Piano in 1993.
“It feels very undemocratic and women do notice.
“Time and time again we don’t get our share of representation.
“Excuse me gentlemen, but the guys seem to eat all the cake.”
Campion stressed she did not resent male filmmakers and “loved them” but felt it was harder for females to get a break.
“There is something that women are thinking of doing that we don’t get to know enough about,” she said.
“It’s always a surprise when a woman filmmaker does come about.”
Despite her feelings, Campion pledged she and fellow jurors would “vote with our hearts and our consciences” and not follow any political agenda in deciding this year’s Palme d’Or winner.
Other members of this year’s jury include American director Sofia Coppola and actor Willem Dafoe.
Campion said the jurors had a great responsibility resting on their shoulders.
“For all of us, film is our passion and this is what’s going to be dictating how we react,” she said.