Cannes has been accused of refusing entry to a critic of a controversial film included at the festival.
Stars and activists have raised concerns about the film Le Retour, which is in contention for the Palme d’Or despite being dogged by accusations of on-set misconduct and the shooting of a sex scene with an underage actor.
An influential French producer has now alleged that he said he was “cancelled” when he arrived at Cannes, and was denied a pass to enter the festival because he had spoken out about the film.
Marc Missonnier said: “I learn that it had been cancelled a few days earlier, without anyone telling me because, and I quote, ‘I called for a boycott in a virulent personal campaign’.
“I have therefore been punished and sent to the corner like a naughty schoolboy.”
Mr Missonnier had earlier raised concerns about Le Retour, a production which was fined €680,000 (£590,000) because it did not disclose that it included filming a sex scene with an actor under 16.
Film industry union members have also raised concerns with director Catherine Corsini, amid allegations that crew members had been mistreated during filming, with several technicians said to have quit.
Corsini has denied any wrongdoing, but controversy continues to follow her film. At its Cannes premiere, a female protestor leapt past security on the red carpet.
Material decrying sexual violence have been handed out by campaigners at Cannes.
Film industry union members with the CGT trade union federation are distributing stickers within the festival headquarters itself, which stated that they do not want “sexual violence”, and that the inclusion of Le Retour marked a regression.
Reporting abusive behaviour
Union members have also created a weighty guide on how figures within the film industry can both avoid and properly report abusive behaviour.
Ahead of a press conference for Le Retour, Cannes staff told assembled journalists that questions were not to stray from “talking about the film”, so Corsini did not face any interrogation over the claims that crew were mistreated on the set.
The veteran French director did, however, say that in future she might consider using an intimacy coordinator in future to ensure performers were confortable shooting sex scenes.
The pressure on Cannes for including her film comes amid a broader debate about the festival providing a platform for those accused of wrongdoing, including Johnny Depp, whose comeback film Jeanne du Barry opened the Riviera event despite him being accused of domestic abuse by his ex wife Amber Heard. Depp has denied the allegations.
The film’s co-star and director Maiwenn also recently admitted spitting at a French journalist, leading feminist groups to call for a boycott of the festival over its decision to put a glamorous red carpet over setting a good example.
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