Cate Blanchett Kicks Off Cannes Film Festival With Shout Out to Banned Directors
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The Oscar winner assured that the directors' circumstances would not be a consideration when it came to selecting best film.

AceShowbiz - Cate Blanchett has expressed sympathy for the two directors who have been banned from attending the Cannes Film Festival in France. The two-time Oscar winner, who is the chairman of this year's Palme d'Or jury, opened the annual film event with a press conference on Tuesday, May 8, and was quick to address the drama surrounding Russian Kirill Serebrennikov and Iran's Jafar Panahi, whose films "Leto" and "3 Faces" will premiere at Cannes this week.

Both directors have been forbidden to travel to France for the festival by officials in their homelands. Blanchett confessed she was dismayed they would have to miss out on the fun, but she assured journalists that their circumstances would not be a consideration when it came to selecting best film.

"I think this has not become a political film festival, and I think the making of the work is probably not inherently political, but the way it is going to be digested in the cinema post-festival may have political implications for people and open their eyes and minds and hearts to situations that are going on around the world...," the Australian actress said.

She added, "But this is not the Nobel Peace Prize, it is the Palme d'Or, so it's a slightly different function, but yes it is a terrible situation that two of the filmmakers will more than likely not be here when their films screen."

This year's jury, consisting of five women and four men, will also include filmmakers Ava Duvernay and Denis Villeneuve, and actresses Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart.

During the press conference, Blanchett also promised reporters that the jury's decisions will "disappoint and confound" movie fans, adding, "If critics think differently, that's wonderful."

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