×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Nightingale’s’ Jennifer Kent, Venice Film Festival React to Insult at Press Screening

UPDATED: Jennifer Kent’s well-received “The Nightingale,” the only film directed by a woman competing at the Venice Film Festival, was Topic A on the Lido on Thursday after the previous night’s screening was marred by an Italian journalist who loudly insulted called the director a “whore.” The festival moved swiftly to revoke his accreditation.

Kent addressed the incident during the film’s press conference Thursday, saying that “it’s of absolute importance to react with compassion and love for ignorance. There is no other option.”

“The film speaks very clearly to that,” said the Australian actress-turned-director, whose feature debut, “The Babadook,” played at Sundance. “I am very proud of the film and my crew for daring to tell a story that needs to be told. Love, compassion, kindness are our lifeline, and if we don’t utilize them, we will all go down the plughole.”

Kent reflected on the fact that she’s the only woman director in competition at Venice.

“It’s not about me, but it is quite hard for me because I wish I had my sister filmmakers here. It’s important we move towards gender parity. Cinema’s job is to reflect the world, and if we only reflect 50% of the world, then it’s not doing its job. It’s a very serious issue,” Kent said.

She added: “There are other filmmakers that are under-represented: indigenous filmmakers, filmmakers of color, filmmakers from developing countries, filmmakers who don’t identify as cisgender men or women. We still have a lot of way to go.”

FilmNation is handling international sales rights on “The Nightingale.” The film, which is produced by Causeway Films and Made Up Stories, still has no U.S. distributor.

Set in 1820s Tasmania, “The Nightingale” follows Aisling Franciosi (“Game of Thrones”) as Clare, a young Irish convict, as she chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family.

The Italian journalist who insulted Kent Wednesday night issued an apology, which was translated and posted on Twitter by a fellow journalist. “My gesture identifies me and only me as a boor and not the entire Italian journalistic apparatus that has been attacked around the world in the last few hours,” said the journalist, who then claimed his insult was not a sexist or misogynistic attack but rather “an irrational and hyperbolic thought of a cynicism that might go well (but actually not) at a bar with friends but is absolutely out of place within an art exhibition.”

Support for Kent flowed on social media from journalists as well as film professionals, and the festival responded by yanking the accreditation from the guilty journalist. In a Twitter post on Thursday it said: “Yesterday night in Sala Darsena it happened a regrettable fact for which La Biennale di Venezia withdrew immediately the press accreditation to the person responsible.”

Here is a sample of social reactions to the original incident:

More Film

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

  • Derek Tsang Hong Kong actor Derek

    'Better Days' Director Derek Tsang Lands in World Cinema Spotlight

    Hong Kong actor-director Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang has recently found himself in the spotlight of the world of cinema, but for the wrong reason. Tsang will be joining a Hong Kong filmmakers panel at FilMart on Thursday with Sunny Chan (“Man on the Dragon”) and Pang Ho-cheung (“Love in a Puff”). The 39-year-old filmmaker was expecting [...]

  • Jen Hollingsworth Lionsgate

    Lionsgate Promotes Jen Hollingsworth to Chief Operating Officer of Motion Picture Group

    Lionsgate veteran executive Jen Hollingsworth has been promoted to the newly created post of chief operating officer of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. She will work closely with Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake to ensure the film division’s strategic initiatives and corporate priorities encourage filmmakers’ artistic visions to thrive. Hollingsworth will also head up the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Solstice Studios Boards Thriller 'Unhinged' From 'Disturbia' Writer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Solstice Studios has acquired “Unhinged,” a psychological thriller from “Disturbia” screenwriter Carl Ellsworth and “Warrior” producer Lisa Ellzey. The studio is currently out to directors. The script revolves around an extreme case of “road rage.” It’s the story of a mother whose decision to hit her horn upsets the wrong guy and leads to some [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Bill & Ted 3' Sets 2020 Summer Release Date

    Excellent! “Bill & Ted 3” has a release date. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter will return to the big screen in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” on Aug. 21, 2020. The duo made the announcement in a short video shot at the Hollywood Bowl, where they’ll “never play.” Production began on Wednesday. Reeves will [...]

  • Elizabeth Debicki

    Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson Join Christopher Nolan's Next Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson are on board to co-star with John David Washington in Christopher Nolan’s next movie, Variety has learned. Nolan recently finished the script for the currently untitled film and Warner Bros. quickly dated it for July 17, 2020 — a slot the studio often reserves for the director, most recently with “Dunkirk.” [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Why 'Missing Link's' Title Character Was One of Laika's Biggest Challenges

    Stop-motion studio Laika pushes design boundaries in every film it makes, and the lead character in “Missing Link” is no exception. “It became pretty apparent that [the character] Link was going to be the cornerstone,” says director and writer Chris Butler. “I did this rough drawing many years ago, and it was basically like a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content