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Send Cannes Press Releases to: press@thebusinessoffilm.com
 
The Institution That Is The Festival de Cannes
Reigns Stronger Than Ever

Thierry Fremaux - 2014 Press Conference
The institution that is the Festival de Cannes reigns across the world as the festival of which every filmmaker and professional in the business of film wants to be a part.
Filmmakers worldwide - those making shorts, documentaries, and feature film - vie each year for the magic words to pass on to their colleagues and family, "My film is in Cannes. I am going to Cannes." Around the globe these words are echoed with a unique sense of joy.
Only 150 feature and documentary films made it in the different selections, but as Thierry Fremaux assured the hopeful from this year and the coming years: "It does not mean that the public won't like your film."
The rigors of selection and the enormous task set before the committees that select the films for The Cannes Film Festival's different sections is no mean feat.

In 2013, Thierry Fremaux and his team faced criticism from across the press in general that there were no female directors in Competition. This year, a total of 15 female directors have films in all the selection sections at Cannes, including 2 in Competition.
As an advocate for individualism, which is celebrated by the organization I founded, The Women's International Film & Television Showcase (TheWIFTS), my viewpoint and response, in 2013 in TBOF's Cannes Editorial, was that perhaps the process of how films are selected needs to be reviewed. With this year's films from female directors, it's empowering for individual female directors worldwide to know that the road to Cannes is now more accessible, with equal road signs to the destination.
TheWIFTS's aims in celebrating 'women as individuals' is not about gender, but an imperative, because "Until our global society recognizes equality in gender, it is important to celebrate 'individuality' so that the issue of gender will become of no consequence."

Over the last ten years, The Institution that is the Festival de Cannes has had to adapt to a harsh economic climate, and some argue that Cannes has become too commercialized. The posters on the Croisette are no longer of films but of consumer products.
While that is true, the reality, amongst many other factors, is that the consumers' product 'appearance' on the Croisette is directly linked to the 'health' of the independent film business, whose posters occupied those spaces in bygone years.
The fact is - finding the right ingredients to make up 'the economic cocktail' in organizing an event the magnitude and reach of the Festival de Cannes, which is aimed ONLY at professionals, stretches the bounds of imagination with an eye to the 'fiscal element' on how best to mix the right available ingredients. Like most institutions with a defined remit, not all sponsors wanting to be a part of Cannes are accepted.
That economic factor aside, what the Festival has accomplished - particularly noticeable since last year with the brilliant poster of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward - is to bring an air of elegance and glamour to Festival de Cannes.
The approach is reflected in not only its website, and posters, but its concerted effort to be the institution that every filmmaker on the planet wants to be a part of - a family of professional filmmakers from every corner of the world coming together for the annual 'glamorous' confab.

Thierry Fremaux has shown his desire to be fair and to welcome past filmmakers as well as to acknowledge the new in the selection process. At his press conference, he pointed out that often part of the reason the same names occur year after year is that they consistently make good movies. He also he emphasized and pointed out that the core aim of the Festival is not only internationality and his personal position as an internationalist, but to bring innovative filmmaking to the world's stage.
In any institution, lines are drawn - sometimes transparent, sometimes not - but as every politician knows, within the walls of any institution, you choose to walk a line - you want to get your point A to your point B. Sometimes you need to wander off course - just as long as you stay the course.
Thierry Fremaux has clearly laid out the lines he wishes to take to accomplish his task, and there was a decided air of confidence and enthusiasm in his press conference for Cannes 2014.
 
 

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