The Cannes Festival which is the annual film festival held in Cannes, France has started to lose its impact as an essential showcase for European Films and has recently come into the limelight over its sexism controversies. To the dismay of many female artists and filmmakers, this platform which is supposed to be an upliftment for everyone irrespective of their gender has instead worsened the sexual oppression faced by most women.
The heel-gate controversy
The heel-gate incident is one of the numerous controversies that have surrounded the Cannes Film Festival in which many female attendees were stopped at the red-carpet premiere in 2015 for wearing flat soled shoes.
On pushing back on these sexist standards actress Kristen Stewart further added, ‘If you’re not asking guys to wear heels and a dress, you cannot ask me either.’ Women should have the freedom to wear whatever they want – a pledge for equality that should be displayed at these festivals rather than oppressed.
Lack of female artist involvement
Cate Blanchett who also heads the jury and together with Kristen Stewart and other actresses has protested in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. Blanchett pointed out about the tragic inequality faced by women at the Festival as only three out of 21 directors running for the top Palme d’Or were women. She further added, ‘We have to include women and look for diversity’ which is yet another hint at the dismal records of Cannes to justly involve all female artists.
It does not come out as a surprise that a grand, celebrated platform where men and women come together would be free of any sexualising acts. This created a hype when numerous women came together and accused Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting them, followed which many women were successful in starting the #MeToo movement as a voice raised against the act.
A grand and well-known platform, Cannes should voice female empowerment and their right to express themselves as freely as the men. Instead of chaining them in high heels and tight dresses these festivals should throw more light on the intelligence of women rather than sexualising their beauty.