Greta Gerwig dwells on #MeToo in address to media as Cannes jury president

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Cannes, May 14 (IANS) 'Barbie' super hitmaker and president of the Cannes Film Festival's competition jury, Greta Gerwig, addressed the growing #MeToo movement in France at the jury press conference on the opening day of the annual celebration of global cinema.

Gerwig, according to 'Variety', said it is only good that "people in the community of movies are telling us stories and trying to change things for the better." She was responding to #MeToo-related rumours swirling ahead of the festival.

"I have seen substantive change in the American film community, and I think it's important that we continue to expand that conversation," Gerwig said. "So I think it’s only moving everything in the correct direction. Keep those lines of communication open."

Gerwig is serving as the president of this year's competition jury, which will be awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or at the end of the 11-day festival. The jury, reports 'Variety', comprises Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona, Turkish actress and screenwriter Ebru Ceylan, Italian actor and producer Pierfrancesco Favino, 'Killers of the Flower Moon' star Lily Gladstone, French actress Eva Green, Japanese filmmaker and producer Hirokazu Kore-eda, Lebanese actor and filmmaker Nadine Labaki and French actor Omar Sy.

The ongoing war in Gaza and the incendiary debate around Israel and Palestine came up when 'Variety' asked the jury about Cannes' decision to ban protests on the Croisette.

Earlier at the conference, Favino referred to the festival as a "free space", and was pressed on how ignoring the Gaza situation is perhaps impossible -- after all, the official Cannes programme has a film about Gaza and jury member Sy recently urged politicians to take action to stop Israel's ground invasion of Rafah, 'Variety' notes.

"When I say free space, it's not just physical space. It's also the possibility of time," Favino said, according to 'Variety'. "One of the most difficult things we could do is seek beauty. Reminding the world that there's beauty in the world with filmmakers. Movies can talk to people ... if we look for beauty, then we might look for peace."