Salma Hayek Pinault, Costa-Gavras and Kaouther Ben Hania

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How to bring together three personalities as different as Salma Hayek Pinault, actress, producer and member of the Kering Foundation’s Board of Directors, Costa Gavras, film director and president of the Cinémathèque Française, and Kaouther Ben Hania, a young Tunisian director in the official competition? By suggesting they debate a central subject that goes beyond the place of women in cinema, the question of the multiple faces violence against women can take. For Costa Gavras, one of these is simply "to consider women as secondary people, and treat them differently both at the salary level and by not letting them fully exercise their work as a filmmaker.”  He' s seen this only too often on film sets where only script work has long been a job for women. Fortunately things are moving slowly but surely, and Kaouther Ben Hania’s beautiful film entitled La Belle et la meute (Beauty and the Pack), selected at A Certain Regard, is proof of this. Filmed in nine shot-sequences, this powerful film follows a young girl raped by police officers and who must confront the complicity between men who try to prevent her from lodging a complaint. "I wanted to make this film inspired by a true story from the point of view of justice and the courage of women. It's David against Goliath, because it's so difficult to prosecute assailants when they're supposed to represent the law. It's like living a second rape!" explains Kaouther Ben Hania. "It’s true that it takes a lot of courage to dare to speak," adds Salma Hayek, "because there is a good chance that nobody will believe you! And because we must fight so that this violence, which takes on multiple faces around the world, is never again associated with the word 'normal'." She also takes advantage of this round table to speak with enthusiasm about the Middle East where things are on the move. "Did you know that the Doha Film Institute and the Doha Film Festival are run by three powerful women who have made Middle Eastern cinema evolve at a great speed? To make cinema is also to create a public, and to give the possibility of changing mentalities!"

Salma Hayek Pinault's biography

Born and raised in Mexico, Salma Hayek Pinault is a producer and director who came to fame as an international actress when she was nominated for the Oscars, and won the Best Actress Award at the BAFTA and SAG Awards for her outstanding and unforgettable role as Frida in Julie Taymor’s film of the same name. She doesn’t hesitate taking on such vastly different roles as Lola in Mathieu Demy’s Americano or a Mexican housekeeper in Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, which will be released in June in the United States. Thanks to her international career, Salma Hayek is outstanding as an activist for educating women and girls throughout the world, and is active in the fight against violence towards women through the operations of the Kering Foundation, of which she is a member of the Board of Directors.

Costa-Gavras' biography

Costa-Gavras – his name resounds like the title of a film. This great Franco-Greek film-maker carries the world of cinema on his shoulders.  Not just the political cinema he has defended so well, and which earned him a Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1982 for Missing, a film adapted from the true story of the American journalist, Charles Horman, who disappeared after denouncing Augusto Pinochet's bloody coup against Salvador Allende. But also because Costa-Gavras has defended the heritage of cinema since 2007 as the President of the Cinémathèque Française, which remains today one of the world's leading cinema databases. For him, making movies, no matter what they are about, is always engaging. And he’s just done it again in a co-production with his wife Michèle Ray Gavras for A Mon Age Je Me Cache Encore Pour Fumer (At My Age, I Still Hide to Smoke), Rayhana Obermeyer 's first film shot in Greece with a 100% female technical team. The film takes place during the Algerian civil war between the walls of a hammam, the only place where women of different generations could speak freely about their intimacy, their concerns and their hopes.

Kaouther Ben Hania's biography

Born in Sidi Bouzid in 1977, Kaouther Ben Hania studied film in Tunisia and then went on to study at La Fémis in 2004. After having directed Le Challat de Tunis, (Challat de Tunis) her first feature film that humorously denounces male chauvinism in Tunisia, then a documentary with the evocative title of Zaineb n’aime pas la neige (Zaineb Doesn’t Like Snow) in 2016, she was selected this year in Cannes for La belle et la meute (Beauty and the Horde) in the Un Certain Regard competition. A genuine feminist thriller inspired by a true story and freely adapted from the book Coupable d’avoir été violée (Guilty of Having Been Raped), which tells the story of a Tunisian girl raped by two policemen. This film is between documentary and fiction with long sequence shots that plunge the viewer into real time. It questions how to get justice when it is on the side of the executioners. The film received ovations from both public and press during its Cannes screening.

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