Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky, known for Hollywood movie Tango & Cash and a winner of two Silver Lions at the Venice Film Festival, has lashed out against international film festivals' gender parity pledges.
"It's hard to imagine a more absurd decision," he was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS about the pledges made by festivals from Berlin to Venice and Cannes. "It all testifies to Europe's decline. What would the next step be — mandatory representation [at festivals] of sexual minorities and people with disabilities?"
The director continued: "There are statistics, and only a blind person can't see that there are more male than female directors in the world. Just like, for instance, [there are more male] orchestra conductors and trombone players. This just contradicts physiology."
Konchalovsky concluded with a remark about the recent Cannes film festival. "I heard that there were two films by female directors in Cannes this year that were unwatchable — weak, amateurish films," he said.
Konchalovsky, who worked in Hollywood in the 1980s, directing, among other films, Homer and Eddie and Tango & Cash, has recently become an ardent critic of the U.S. and global film industries.
In 2014, he withdrew his film The Postman's White Nights from consideration as Russia's entry in the best foreign-language film Oscar race, citing his disagreement with Oscar values as the reason. His subsequent film, Paradise, was Russia's foreign-language Oscar submission two years later and ended up on the shortlist.
Both The Postman's White Nights and Paradise won Konchalovsky the best director's Silver Lion honor at the Venice International Film Festival.