Is it not the first time these prestigious awarding ceremonies have negatively fallen under the radar of irrelevancy! Be it Oscars or Cannes festival, each one had its share of thrusting the audience with something or the other that doesn’t align with the clear vision of inclusiveness. Year in and year out, massive online and offline catharsis have clamoured the world by putting a hanging question ahead for the requisite tailoring. But to dismay, the loud noises did not reach the ears of authorities.
More so, these upsetting habituated standards are still actively adopted, completely ignoring the ever-changing dynamism of the world we live in. And this time, the hollows of Cannes are struggling to address its relevancy. Take a look.
A branding limelight
Festival De Cannes is a rendezvous of art, cultures, and influencing movies. It is a platform to shine a spotlight on the mind-boggling creations of humans. But lately, the festival is turning synonyms to marketing the big brands. To satiate the whimsical of luxury; Chanel, Chopard, Rolex, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and uncountable more have their shops set up in a squeezed 800 meters seafront Croisette. These bohemian brands lift heavy sponsorship for the events to stay palpable.
The club of insider
The entertainment industry is often choaking an equitable platform for outside artist to showcase their talent. In these appalling times, the festival does not attempt to differentiate itself instead is deeply involved. Cannes has served itself as a global event for existing celebrities and insiders to screen their films. The ordinary artist without special arrangements has no route to chip in their extraordinary creations. The event has become a marketplace for stakeholders of the entertainment business to congregate and strike deals.
Unbalanced gender representation
If viewed from the prism of gender participation, the results are undoubtedly disappointing. The Cannes boasts this year’s festival as the most inclusive, but only on paper. As one carves out the details, the claims of balanced women representation are nothing but mockery. Empirical evidence suggests that out of the 24 films in the Competition section (entirely new section in Cannes premiere), only 4 (minuscule 16.6%) are made by women. Also, of the total 63 films, only 18 (roughly 29%) are directed by one or more women.
Inseparable racial discrimination
Racial discrimination is one such controversial theme that is deeply rooted in every global event. This is one such reason that impedes the growth of quality content for an audience. Taking the trend further, this year’s numbers are discouraging as well. In the new section of Competition, only five films are directed by male people of colour. And surprisingly, no movie is directed by non-white women. The recent harrowing incident has only strengthened the argument re: Abraham Abbi Asefaw, only POC have been ousted from RHA (Roger Hatchuel Academy). With this, the flames of lack of diversity are rising high.
A symbiosis with media and others
The event as eminent as Cannes should garner organic attention. But obvious is contrastingly thriving on the media frenzy. Vital subjects like gender parity, ethnicity is often lost in the glitz of the event and the unnecessary global tabloid attention is cast towards inconsequential issues. The triviality includes a prohibition of red-carpet selfies, a ban on sneakers or Netflix. On the pretext of cinema, the gala event attracts fashion journalists too. And then comes the flourishing business of jewellery brands like Chopard who makes the trophy.
With that being brought under the light, here is the question for naïve audiences like us- Is Cannes Festival still relevant?