Thierry Frémaux on Diversifying Cannes and Why John Woo Never Made it to Competition

Arguably the most scrutinized festival director of his time, Thierry Frémaux began working for the Cannes film festival in 2001 before taking on the role of festival director in 2014 when Gilles Jacob stood down. During that period he has had to attempt to rewire Cannes in the wake of radical changes in how we watch and talk about movies. He also faces continuous criticism for the ongoing lack of gender equality in the movies that are programmed.

We met Frémaux at the Marrakech film festival recently and found him in an affable mood, happy to discuss how his job has changed in those tumultuous years and also about his directorship of the Lumière institute and their annual festival of restored films in Lyon.

How did the idea behind the Lumière festival come about?

Well, Lyon is the native town of cinematograph Lumière. We celebrated the centennial in 1995 at the Lumière institute,
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