Cannes Film Festival is the premiere destination for the best films, top stars, and the most anticipated work in cinema for the coming year. To hear a director was turned away, and barred from the festival over bringing her baby, is controversial for the prestigious event.
British director Greta Bellamacina, whose film Hurt By Paradise is screening in the market section of the festival, said the festival had displayed an “outrageous” attitude after she attempted to enter the festival with her four-month son. * You can find the full first hand review on The Gaurdian.
“I’m outraged at the absurdity of this backwards attitude,” Bellamacina said in a statement. “As if female film-makers needed further obstacles to equality in our industry. According to Bellamacina, the festival initially refused her child entry to the site. After “much stressful debate” she and her child were allowed into the accreditation area, though she says she was told that her buggy would have to be sent through a different entrance. Bellamacina says she was then told that her child would require a delegate’s pass, costing €300 (£260). After she offered to pay the fee, she was told that it would take 48 hours to process her request and was asked to leave the site. The incident comes in the wake of the introduction of a new initiative, announced by the Cannes film festival and Marché du Film, its business counterpart, in April, and intended to make it easier for those with young children to attend the festival. Created in conjunction with the Parenting at Film Festivals group, a support network and lobby group set up to help parents in the film industry whose roles necessitate large amounts of travel, Le Ballon Rouge offers additional passes for a nanny and baby, as well as a breast-feeding and baby-changing room, easy access for young children and strollers, and a dedicated children’s area.
“Ironically, my film is about a young single mother trying to balance her life as a writer,” Bellamacina added. “She is treated quite patronisingly in some scenes in the film, but never as rudely as I was treated as a mother at the film festival today.” The Cannes Film Festival is currently looking into the situation, as details come to life.