Kudos to Jane Campion–newly announced President of the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival Jury!!!
Jane Campion is the only female director who has ever won the prestigious Palme d’Or (which she received for The Piano). She now becomes the first female filmmaker to head the Cannes Jury.
Prior female Jury presidents–Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann & Isabelle Huppert–have primarily been actresses. (The exceptions are Françoise Sagan, who wrote screenplays but was primarily known as a novelist, and Liv Ullmann who has directed several films but is primarily known as an actress.)
This is also great victory for the indefatigable Melissa Silverstein who organized a highly successful Cannes protest two years ago.
Why do I say that? Well, Jane Campion received her Palme d’Or for The Piano way back in 1993, & she has directed many well-regarded films since (including Top of the Lake which was nominated for numerous awards last year including 2 Golden Globes), so why is she suddenly receiving this high honor now?
Answer: Counting matters, folks. By making gender imbalance at the Cannes Film Festival a highly visible world-wide issue, Melissa Silverstein has poked one more hole in the Celluloid Ceiling.
So kudos to Jane & brava, Melissa 🙂
Logos & photo of Jane Campion from the Cannes Film Festival website.