Director Jane Campion has called for more female film-makers to impact upon the Cannes Film Festival and world cinema.

The Kiwi helmer, in competition for this year's Palme d'Or at the annual celebration of film, said female directors must "put on their coats of armour" and aim to alter the cinematic landscape.

"I would love to see more women directors because they represent half the population - and gave birth to the whole world!" said Campion while in Cannes.

"What interests women is very interesting to me and without more women writers and directors, the rest of us are never going to learn the whole story.

"But I think women grow up without a lot of harsh criticism, they are treated more sensitively and it's quite hard when you first encounter the world of film-making."

Female filmmakers could struggle to "develop a tough skin", Campion explained.

"But women must put on their coats of armour and get going, because we want to see more of them in the competition."

The 55-year-old is nominated for the Palme d'Or for Bright Star, her first film in six years.

Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish star in the film, an account of the love affair between the poet John Keats and his neighbour Fanny Brawne, which Campion said gave her "butterflies" after checking a final edit.

15/05/2009 16:54:55