Defended by Alain Delon at the Cannes Festival
At a press conference Monday, Thierry Frémaux, artistic director of the Cannes festival, said in a petition published on the Internet that organizers should not be honored with "Racial, Homophobic and Gentile Beginner Reverend Alain Delont". According to the festival director, the work of the French world star should be distinguished from his opinion.
"We are not honoring Delon with the Nobel Prize, but with Honorary Golden Palm for his oeuvre. The festival condemns certain speeches, but not freedom of expression. Things have to be separated, '' Thierry Frémaux said at a press conference one day before the ceremonial opening of Cannes, where he condemned the "political police".
"Delon is free to express his opinion, even if I do not share it (...) It is difficult to judge through today's glasses things that happened years ago or were said then," he added.
The 83-year-old French filmmaker, who previously admitted to striking women and denouncing homosexuality as unnatural, is scheduled to be honored Sunday. The official poster for the 72nd Army would have originally featured young Alain Delon, but after Agnes Varda's death in March, she was eventually cast.
The petitioners believe that "there is no place for racists, sexists and homophobes at such a major event". Signatories recalled that in a 2013 TV interview, Alain Delon believed that gay couples should not be allowed to have children and "women should be treated with grudges, including slaps."
The petition also recalled that movie star son Anthony Delon claimed on May 4 on Instagram that his father had been abusive with him during his childhood and locked him in a cage with dogs to get tougher.
The art director was also forced to defend himself because of the official competition program's 21 creations featuring only 4 that were directed by a woman, despite the Hollywood Sexual Harassment scandals in a charter last year committing to equality between women and men.
“The commitment to equality must not be confused with the question of selection. It would be inappropriate for a festival to choose a movie just because it was directed by a woman, ”said Thierry Frémaux. The festival's announcement indicated that 26 percent of the 1,845 entries from 39 countries were directed by women, making it more understandable that only 19 percent of filmmakers are in competition.
The organizers also pointed out that women had already directed 44 percent of the entries to the thesis competition, indicating that female directors could play an increasingly important role in the future.
The selected Hungarian exam film is also directed by Katalin Moldovai, a woman. The Graduation Film, "So Far So Far," will feature in the Cinéfondation, a program featuring top universities, on May 21st.
The announcement also highlighted that 66 of the 109 permanent staff at the festival were women, representing 61 percent, and that the Cannes-based 974 team had 468 women, or 48 percent of the staff, over the 12 days of the event. The selection committee is composed of half-men and women, and the jury members of each of the festival's selection teams are nominated equally.
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival will debut Tuesday night on the French Riviera with the premiere of Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die. The festival runs until May 25 and is chaired by the jury of the official competition program, Alejandro González Inárritu, a five-time Mexican film director.