Cannes Film Festival kicks off, but it's not free of controversies

Festival jury president and director Greta Gerwig at Cannes. Photo | Reuters (Yara Nardi)

The Cannes Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday evening with the screening of the French comedy film ‘The Second Act.’ While the film festival, held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Palace of Festivals and Conferences,) will celebrate and review some of the best works in international cinema, this year, it has its share of controversies, including a staff strike and a #MeToo update that may put the festival in jeopardy.
As per reports, organisers have brought in a crisis management team to deal with any fallout from the possible release of the names of 10 industry figures accused of sexual abuse, during the festival. The move gains prominence as the festival has decided to stream French actor Judith Godreche’s short film ‘Moi Aussi' that will feature the testimony of some 1,000 victims of sexual abuse, at the ‘Un Certain Regard’ competition.

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux said it was important to show the new short film by Judith who has been a major voice in the country's #MeToo movement. Fremaux repeatedly stressed that films were chosen for their cinematic qualities - whether on Ukraine, Gaza or former US President Donald Trump. From the start, "Cannes has reflected the upheaval in the world because that's what directors do in their film," he said.
Meanwhile, Cannes Film Festival workers launched a rooftop protest at the opening night of the festival regarding better compensation. Another round of protests also began on the ground with the striking employees holding the banner with their motto ‘Sous les écrans la dèche (Under the screen, the waste)’.

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