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Cannes Film Festival jury address sexism allegations

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May 17, 2012 | 5:00am EDT

The annual event was launched in the south of France on Wednesday (16May12) and the 12-day gala will see a total of 22 movies screened for the coveted honour.

Wes Anderson's Moonlight Kingdom, which kicked off the festival, Ken Loach's The Angels' Share and David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis are all in contention, but the all-male list of competitors has prompted allegations of a sex bias.

A group of French filmmakers recently banded together to write an open letter to the media accusing Cannes organisers of failing to give proper recognition to projects made by female directors, but 2012 jury members Kruger and Arnold have dismissed the notion, insisting it's an unfortunate reflection of the film industry as a whole.

Arnold says, "It's true the world over, in the world of film there are just not many woman film directors. I guess Cannes is a small pocket that represents how it is out there in the world and that's a great pity, a great disappointment."

But she would never want her film to be picked based on her gender, adding, "I would only want my film to be selected for the right reasons."

Inglourious Basterds star and festival regular Kruger also denied the allegations, saying, "My impression is that women are made welcome in Cannes."

The two women have been appointed to sit on the Cannes Film Festival grand jury alongside two other females and five males, headed up by Italian director Nanni Moretti.

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