Slog: Helen Grace of Left Films on (Not) Breastfeeding at Cannes

I went to the 2017 Cannes Film Festival to acquire some DTV films for UK release on my distribution label, and also to help find distributors for the slate of British and Irish films I had brought to the market for international sales.

As a solo mum of two, where I go my children go, not least my 6-month old son who I am breastfeeding. I had anticipated some difficulty in getting them into the festival venues so I had emailed the Marche weeks in advance to ask what sort of badge I should buy for my children. I was told that I could not buy them a badge as minors were not permitted in the Marche.

Just before I left the UK, I had heard from a fellow mum in the industry whose young son had not been allowed to have a day pass to enter the Marche where she was setting up her booth. When I arrived, I could not take my 6 month old baby in with me to pick up my Marche accreditation. I was fortunate to have a relative with me to help, or the situation would have been impossible. As it was, I had to adjust my meeting schedule because of being separated from my baby son for hours, and I ended up cancelling a few meetings to allow time to go back to my hotel to feed him.

The length of time it took to get in and out of the Palais made matters worse. I did my best to make the trip work for the needs of both my business and my children. It was hard work, but the enforced separation by the festival organisation made it much harder than it could have been.

3 thoughts on “Slog: Helen Grace of Left Films on (Not) Breastfeeding at Cannes”

  1. Mothers should be supported and included in this industry. There shouldn’t be a separation. I’ve recently become a mother and have just experienced some unfair treatment as a freelance filmmaker myself.

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