Cannes Film Festival delegates attending a dinner hosted by luxury goods firm Kering kept their eye on the ball during one of the annual bash’s most memorable editions to date.
The late-evening Women in Motion event on Sunday (July 11) at the impeccably decorated Le Place de la Castre coincided with the UEFA Euro Championship final between Italy and England, posing the ultimate “Sophie’s Choice”-style scenario for die-hard sports fans like director Spike Lee, the festival’s jury president, who was in attendance.
Guests began huddling around those who were stealthily watching the match on their smartphones, and eventually a big screen was set up for delegates. Who else but Lee positioned themselves up front, in a single chair with a glass of wine in hand, to watch Italy beat England in a penalty shootout. With a serene look on his face, the “Da 5 Bloods” director gazed up at the screen in what has become a viral image (pictured above).
The night held plenty of other surprises as well. Salma Hayek, a recent Variety cover star who normally presents the award herself during the ceremony (the actor is married to Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault and, as such, is a regular at the dinner), was given the 2020 Women in Motion Award by festival president Pierre Lescure and artistic director Thierry Fremaux, who said they personally selected Hayek for the prize.
Introducing the winner, whose identity was kept secret to reveal live during the ceremony, Fremaux said: “Her engagement has been enduring and strong, towards fighting violence against women…and helping them stand against all kinds of violence, whether it be sexual, physical, mental or discriminatory.
“I would not be able to tell you whether she was born an artist or activist first,” added Fremaux. “She is an artist and an activist.”
A stunned Hayek accepted the award, noting that she didn’t have a speech and also suffered from stage fright. “Are you upset?” inquired Fremaux.
“A little bit,” replied Hayek. “I’m very honoured.”
Noting that she came from a generation where you had to choose between rejecting your looks to get ahead, and being attractive and not going anywhere, Hayek said: “You had to look really beautiful or try to look really bad. Hide the boobs. And follow a different kind of dream. But this isn’t just for women: how many of us have tried to make it on something that we thought it was [impossible]?
“But I think we’re entering a world — and I know it’s messy right now — where we can start pushing the limits of what art is. Art is pushing our connections to new places where we wouldn’t have seen ourselves,” added Hayek.
Previous recipients of the Women in Motion Award including French actor Isabelle Huppert, Americans Jane Fonda, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. Elsewhere, the Women in Motion Young Talent Award was given to “Maternal” director Maura Delpero.