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Cannes Director’s Fortnight topper Macia fired

French helmers looking to sharpen sidebar's edge

PARIS — Marie-Pierre Macia, managing director of the Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight, has had her contract terminated by the Societe des realisateurs de films (SRF), the French directors’ group that runs the sidebar.

According to a Fortnight source, Macia was broadsided July 24 by the decision, which was handed to her “with no justification.”

Insiders cite a clash between Macia, who has run the sidebar for the past four years, and SRF topper helmer Pascal Thomas.

The SRF’s official line is that the decision was made to reflect the “evolution of the Festival and cinema around the world.”

No replacement has been named.

Move is seen as an attempt to return to the edginess previously associated with Fortnight films and to the sidebar’s emphasis on directors.

Critics of Macia’s ouster are puzzled, citing this year’s Fortnight’s critical success.

Macia replaced Fortnight founder Pierre-Henri Deleau four years ago, when Deleau exited the post after repeated clashes with Cannes Film Fest topper Gilles Jacob.

Established in 1969 at the insistance of new wave directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, the Fortnight has always been run independently from the Cannes’ Official Selection.

It was originally created as a vehicle for new directorial talent, but has gotten more mainstream in recent years.

Macia is fighting the SRF decision, and met with the French Cultural Ministry and the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC) Friday.

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