Five women stand to challenge French BJ’s stalemate – deadline

In 2021, the Cannes Film Festival has programmed movies from an unprecedented number of women and people of color compared to other years. Director Julia Ducornau won the Palme d’Or for her film Titanium, Just became the second woman to do it This victory has given people hope that perhaps change is coming from the white, male-dominated festival.

But with the initial release of the Cannes lineup last month, it has been seen that things are back to normal, with women and POC content largely off. Subsequent additions to the slate included five films directed or co-directed by women in the competition for the first time. But is it enough? Change is happening slowly, but dropping year after year has proved detrimental to many filmmakers who are on the edge, and some established voices seem willing to speak. It is not until women decide to face a new wave problem.

The difficulty of drawing attention to the issues of underrepresentation is partly within French law. The Commission has banned the collection of personal data and statistics by the Nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (French data protection agency) showing ethnic and racial origins, health status, sexual orientation and sectarianism. Since the numbers do not exist, there is no documented evidence to address where the French film and television industry is lacking. But the absence of numbers does not mean that the problem is being ignored and that voices calling for change are getting louder. Joining the Deadline Breakers class this year, director Celine Sayama and Amandine Gay, and actresses Aisa Maiga, Adele Hennell and Nadezhda Bousson-Diagon represent the pioneers of the fight, using their words, content and activism to challenge the status quo and question the old. Perspectives on male-dominated art. Here’s how they did it.

Amandin gay

Amanda is gay

Amanda is gay
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Queer director, activist and scholar Amandine Gay continues to push against the notion of universality with her words and content. A documentary called his feature film Keep saying (Open voice), Puts the lives of black women living in France at the forefront and in the center, provides an intimate portrait and provides a true analysis of what it means to be black and a woman living in France and Belgium.

The film manages to evoke a dialogue about race and gender, which brings to the fore the prohibition on intersection. But since his film showed that France was not an ethnic utopia, many wanted to believe it, so Geck had to self-produce and self-distribute. In 2017, the film was released in theaters around France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Many have accused it of promoting divisions within French society, but the New Yorker praised the film as “an important film in itself and a virtual kit to inspire other filmmakers; It is the opening of the voice and the way. “

His second documentary, One’s own story Ready to open a whole new discussion about adoption and adoption, as the film details five ethnic and transnational adopters and their experiences.

Adele Hennell

Adele Hennell
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In November 2019, French actress Adele Hanel accused director Christophe Rugia of sexually abusing her and trying to flee her between the ages of 12 and 15. It is still unusual for women to speak in any industry, but she was the first to speak in public About abuse in the country’s entertainment industry, kicked into high gear two years after the #MeToo movement created by black activist Tarana Burke. Hennell’s speech persuaded other women to come forward with stories of their abuse.

Now, she is one of the most acclaimed young actresses in France, having been nominated for seven Caesars at the age of 30 and winning two. He was nominated for another Caesar for his role Portrait of Lady on fire. He led a walkout at the Caesar Awards that year when Roman Polanski received the award for Best Director and he famously shouted “La Honte! [The shame!]”As soon as he left.

The actress ignited a feminist flame among French women who continue to demand change from the government in the way it handles abuse and harassment. Hennell is always at the forefront of this procession, deeply aware of the power that his platform gives him to discuss loudly.


Aisa Maiga

Aisa Maiga
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Actress, director and producer Aisa Maiga made her film debut in 1997, Saraka Bo. Since then, he has acted in a variety of roles, and each performance is performed with fearlessness, sincerity and confidence. However, during his years in the profession he noticed a pattern of racist behavior in the French film industry which he could not ignore.

At the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, he was one of the participants in stage protests against racism in the French film industry. The actress added weapons to 15 other black French actresses as she walked the red carpet to the iconic Palace des Festival. His big disruptive moment on the stage of the 2020 Caesar Awards came in a performance of contempt. In front of a large white audience, Maiga talked about the discriminatory behavior of actors of color and how stereotypical role casting choices for black actors continue to dominate. “We have survived the whitewashing, the blackface, the role of lots of dealers, the bawana accents; We have survived the role of terrorists, the role of hyper-sexualized girls, but we will not leave French cinema alone, “she said. The speech silenced the audience in silence.

Did he make some people angry? Yes. Any way to stop him? Maiga keeps her word, realizing that she must Stay Change, and now the actress creates the content she wants to see. Including feature documentaries, Black lookMaïga has provided a platform for black actresses from around the world to showcase their racism, sexism and racism in the story art.


Celine Sayama

Celine Sayama
O’Connor / / MEGA

Writer and director Céline Sciamma started a movement – unintentionally. His film Portrait of Lady on fire Bringing back the discussion of female vision and how it has been explored by the history of a male-dominated cinema. The movie inspires a generation of young women who raise a sign in a French feminist procession that says, “We are the girls on fire.” As an out-of-lesbian, Sciamma has never been afraid to criticize the current state of French film and television, acknowledging that it is extremely white, masculine and bourgeois.

This is why Sciamma, along with others including actress Léa Seydoux and Lily Rose Depp, supported the 50/50 campaign, which aims to achieve gender equality in the industry. It has attracted the attention of many art conservatives. This became clear when he told The Guardian about the reaction of the French press Portrait. “In France, they don’t think the film is hot,” says Skama Matter of Factly. “[They think] It’s lack of meat, it’s not erotic. Looks like there are some things they can’t accept. “

His contempt for status came up at the 2020 Caesar Awards where Roman Polanski – who was convicted of sexual harassment in the United States in the 1970s – won the Caesar Award for Best Director.

He left the show in protest with actors Adele Hennell, Naomi Merlant, Aisa Maiga and others. It justifies everything he said about the art’s desire to keep its head in the sand. But now it is out to see the world. While change is slowly taking place in France, none of the assassins have stopped her from putting her diverse ideals and women at the forefront of the story she chooses to tell.

Nadege Beusson-Diagne

Nadege Beausson-Diagne

Nadege Beausson-Diagne
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Born in Paris, the actress, singer and poet Nadezhda Bousson-Diagne was a vocal and proud activist in the French film and television industry. She attended the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, joining hands with other black actresses to protest the under-representation of black and mixed-color women and the clich they suffer. Throughout his career he has heard several anti-black comments referring to his skin color and his language, calling him too black or not black enough.

Along with Adèle Haenel, in 2019 she also came forward about her experience of sexual abuse and sexual abuse. “I too have been the victim of sexual harassment and sexual harassment in Africa,” Nadege said of her experience on her Instagram account. That was a very long time ago. The pain was swallowing. Today, I am ready to speak up and speak to help restore my life. ”

George Miller / Deadline

Read the digital edition of Deadline’s Ear / Disruptor Magazine for 2022 here.

The actress has turned her pain into a publicity stunt by publicly raising issues of race and gender. Sharing her story and stepping on the sidewalk to fight for women’s rights, she stands by Céline Sciamma, Aïssa Maïga, Adèle Haenel, Amandine Gay and others who are determined to make French art a better place.

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