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`Barbie` super hitmaker and president of the Cannes Film Festival`s competition jury, Greta Gerwig, addressed the growing #MeToo movement in France at the jury press conference on the opening day of the annual celebration of global cinema.

Gerwig, according to `Variety`, said it is only good that “people in the community of movies are telling us stories and trying to change things for the better.” She was responding to #MeToo-related rumours swirling ahead of the festival.

“I have seen substantive change in the American film community, and I think it`s important that we continue to expand that conversation,” Gerwig said. “So I think it’s only moving everything in the correct direction. Keep those lines of communication open.”

Gerwig is serving as the president of this year`s competition jury, which will be awarded the prestigious Palme d`Or at the end of the 11-day festival. The jury, reports `Variety`, comprises Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona, Turkish actress and screenwriter Ebru Ceylan, Italian actor and producer Pierfrancesco Favino, `Killers of the Flower Moon` star Lily Gladstone, French actress Eva Green, Japanese filmmaker and producer Hirokazu Kore-eda, Lebanese actor and filmmaker Nadine Labaki and French actor Omar Sy.

The ongoing war in Gaza and the incendiary debate around Israel and Palestine came up when `Variety` asked the jury about Cannes` decision to ban protests on the Croisette.

Earlier at the conference, Favino referred to the festival as a “free space”, and was pressed on how ignoring the Gaza situation is perhaps impossible — after all, the official Cannes programme has a film about Gaza and jury member Sy recently urged politicians to take action to stop Israel`s ground invasion of Rafah, `Variety` notes.

“When I say free space, it`s not just physical space. It`s also the possibility of time,” Favino said, according to `Variety`. “One of the most difficult things we could do is seek beauty. Reminding the world that there`s beauty in the world with filmmakers. Movies can talk to people … if we look for beauty, then we might look for peace.”

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