BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
Some low-key sexist issues at the Festival De Cannes have been brought to light in recent times. Participants at Cannes last year called it “flatgate” when women at the Festival De Cannes in Paris were turned away by ushers from the red carpet for not wearing high heels.
A lot of women were also stopped from attending gala screenings because of their choice of footwear. One was reportedly turned away for wearing ankle boots and tights, and another was actually physically pushed away for wearing platform sandals that security were not comfortable with.
The unspoken rule was soon eliminated and a lot of female Hollywood personalities have been seen rocking flat shoes on the red carpet.
This year however, another issue about female discrimination came up last week when a Canadian female film producer, Lauren Grant was prevented from entering the secured area where the Canadian pavilion was because of her baby. Lauren was told she couldn’t take in her 9-month-old baby, Lennon into the Canadian pavilion were she had meetings because of increased security measures (Yes, babies are suspected terrorists too).
Expressing her dissatisfaction to The Hollywood Reporter Grant said, “A woman said the rule was no one under 18. I told her she’s not a kid. There’s got to be a difference between someone who is 16 and 7 and almost 9 months old. I know the festival is trying to be better with women. This is not okay. I had to do my meetings in the Pavilion and then breastfeed on a bench outside of security.”
Grant continued, “There’s this big concern that there’s not enough women in the film industry. But this is the thing: If I’m a woman with a child, should I not have come to Cannes and tried to find financing for my movies and delayed those films for a year because I couldn’t feed my baby? That actually makes no sense.”
She was eventually advised to speak directly to the head of the film market who later granted the child an exception although Lauren still could not take the child into the pavilion, only into the secured area.
Lauren Grant is the wife of Canadian film distributor John Bain who is the president of Search Engine Films. She is also the founder of the Toronto-based production company Clique Pictures which focuses on female-centric fare.