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Cannes reels over festival judge’s claim TikTok is meddling with vote

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Michael Fassbender and his wife, fellow actor Alicia Vikander, at the screening of 'Holy Spider' during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty

Michael Fassbender and his wife, fellow actor Alicia Vikander, at the screening of 'Holy Spider' during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty

Michael Fassbender and his wife, fellow actor Alicia Vikander, at the screening of 'Holy Spider' during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty

Cannes has become embroiled in a row over TikTok, after a judge quit a competition jury, claiming the social media giant was interfering in its work.

The video-sharing platform is a partner of the film festival this year, to the displeasure of veterans of the Riviera event.  

Rithy Panh, a Cambodian director, was selected to head the jury of TikTok’s inaugural short film competition but quit, claiming the social media giant tried to meddle in the judging process.

The Oscar nominated director said: “They need to know that an artistic jury is a jury, not just an algorithm.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Mr Panh said his adversaries at TikTok capitulated after his protests and a brief time away from the judging panel.

The jury was ultimately able to hand out two top prizes, which had been his initial suggestion.

The main prizes for the short films went to Japanese Mabuta Motoki and Slovenian Matej Rimanic. The competition videos had been viewed four billion times.

A TikTok spokesman said: “As in any creative competition where selection of a winner is open to subjective interpre-
tation, there may be differences of artistic opinion from the independent panel of judges.”

The controversy comes after TikTok was announced as an official partner of Cannes, meaning it is allowed to enjoy a great deal of influence and exposure at the festival.

TikTok is seeking to expand its market across Europe, having established a recent partnership with Eurovision.

Video of the Day

Meanwhile, protesters have stormed the red carpet at the festival in the second such incident in the past week.

A group of women unfurled a banner at the premiere of Holy Spider, letting off black smoke devices and holding their fists in the air.

The banner featured a list of victims of “129 femicides since the last Cannes festival”, apparently referring to domestic killings in France.

Video appeared to show security guards observing the protest instead of intervening.

Holy Spider tells the story of a female journalist investigating a serial killer targeting sex workers in Iran.

On Friday, the premiere of George Miller’s Three Thousand Years Of Longing was interrupted by a woman protesting against sexual violence during the war in Ukraine.

Security guards quickly encircled her and took her off the red carpet.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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