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Cannes Film Festival reportedly bracing for bombshell #MeToo accusations

Cannes Film Festival reportedly bracing for bombshell #MeToo accusations - Pictured: Cannes president Iris Knobloch
Cannes Film Festival reportedly bracing for bombshell #MeToo accusations - Pictured: Cannes president Iris Knobloch Copyright AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard
Copyright AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard
By David Mouriquand
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The French film industry is bracing itself for further #MeToo revelations about multiple male actors, directors and producers. The rumour mill is exploding, and a dark shadow could very well be cast over this year’s Cannes Film Festival opening.

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The Cannes Film Festival starts next week, on Tuesday (14 May), with the opening film Le Deuxième Acte from French absurdist Quentin Dupieux.  

However, it’s already off to a rocky start, with a French labour group representing freelance workers at film festivals calling for a strike.

As if that wasn’t enough of a headache for the Croisette, speculation is mounting in the French media over rumours that a bombshell #MeToo exposé will drop on the day of the opening.

Indeed, there are rumours of a mysterious list of 10 actors / directors / producers who are set to be accused of #MeToo allegations during the festival.

Set to be published by Mediapart, this report is already being described as “an earthquake.”

How will Cannes react to this mighty quake?

French outlet Le Figaro is reporting, an an article titled ’#MeToo: before the Cannes film festival, the film industry is in a cold sweat’, that Cannes president Iris Knobloch (pictured above) has already hired an agency to prepare for “crisis communication”.

The outlet has claimed that top talent “are losing sleep over it” and that “entire artistic teams are trembling” in fear their films will be overshadowed by such allegations.

Knobloch told Le Figaro she and her team were maintaining “reinforced vigilance”.

The festival team and crisis management firm has reportedly been working out scenarios on a case-by-case basis on how to deal with potential accusations, as the festival does not have an official protocol with regards to dealing with guests accused of sexual harassment and abuse.

The Figaro report suggests that the festival could remove films from Competition, or disinvite accused professionals from the red carpet, depending on the severity of the eventual accusations.

Although the official list has not yet been openly published, a number of well-known names from French cinema have been making the rounds on social networks, none of which shall be named in this article before the news is confirmed. However, if the list turns out to be accurate, then the names are major ones, including a filmmaker who has a film in Competition this year, as well as an Oscar winner.

These rumours come amid a fresh #MeToo wave in France, sparked by actress and filmmaker Judith Godrèche’s decision to speak up about sexual abuse she says suffered at the hands of director Benoît Jacquot. He has denied the allegations.

Godrèche will present her short film Moi aussi at the festival, about sexual violence. In a press release, the festival said it wanted the screening to “give resonance to these testimonies”.

Last month, actor Gérard Depardieu was taken into police custody for sexual assault and it has been announced that he will face a criminal trial in October over the alleged sexual assaults in 2021 of two women.

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday 14 May and lasts until Saturday 25 May.

Additional sources • Le Figaro

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