Festival director defends Adam Driver’s response to questionNovember 15, 2023
Yesterday we covered the story of Adam Driver cursing out an audience member who asked him a smarmy question at a Q&A for his movie Ferrari. Some dude asked Adam to comment on the crash scenes in the movie, calling them “harsh” and “cheesy.” Adam said “F–k you, I don’t know, next question” to the gasps and startled laughter of the crowd. This happened at a film festival in Poland called EnergaCamerimage. The festival director, Marek Zydowicz, is speaking out in support of Adam. He issued a statement, which Deadline has in full. Marek says that the audience guy’s question lacked “deeper reasoning, which is against the spirit of our festival.” He also says that Adam was completely on board with the very busy schedule they’d planned for him at the festival, and that it was his idea to take questions from members of the public at this screening. He’s basically coming to Adam’s defense as a professional. But I also think he wants to make sure that other A-list stars don’t get scared away from attending his event. You can read his statement below.
Marek Zydowicz’s Statement:
As the founder and director of the EnergaCAMERIMAGE film festival, I was very honored to have Adam Driver as our guest at the festival. We prepared a very demanding festival schedule for him, one that Adam embraced with great openness and commitment. Despite the very tight program of his visit to Toruń related to his honorary Golden Frog award and promotion of the film Ferrari as part of the Main Competition at our festival, he participated in meetings and discussions about EnergaCAMERIMAGE film festival and the art of cinematography, met with the admirers of his talent as well as cinema aficionados, and asked for the conversation following the screening to be open to the public to have that direct dialogue with people who came to see the film. He also visited the museum where I prepared an exhibition of Jan Matejko’s outstanding painting entitled “Astronomer Copernicus, or Conversations with God,” presented last year at the National Gallery in London.
As is the case with any film festival featuring open conversations with invited artists, both sensible and completely trivial questions and comments. In my opinion, the question raised during the Q&A with Adam Driver belonged to the second category. It was an assessment, lacking deeper reasoning, which is against the spirit of our festival and the work we are aiming to achieve.
Having devoted the last thirty years of my life to careful analysis of film imagery, our goal is to celebrate, honor and recognize the art of moving pictures as well as the great artists and collaborators of films. We look forward to audiences seeing Michael Mann’s Ferrari, and the deeply authentic excellent work he and his filmmaking team, including Adam Driver, have accomplished.
Reading this statement makes me feel bad for Marek. I’m sure it’s frustrating to organize this big film festival and have a heckler and a movie star create a moment that’s viral for all the wrong reasons. Marek Zydowicz obviously made this event for people like him, who deeply love and respect the art of film. But there are always hecklers, no matter where you are. There are always completely inane questions at these kind of events, and sometimes they are mean-spirited. Like I said, I think Marek is trying to make sure all of this doesn’t reflect on his event. It isn’t his fault though–the audience guy was a jerk and Adam Driver responded in kind. Also, I want to acknowledge that Adam can get away with this because he is a man. If any woman celebrity did this, she’d be lambasted to hell and back. Men (especially white men) are allowed to have tempers or to be fallible, and women are almost never afforded the same freedom. And I’ll be honest: that’s probably why it amused me so much at first. It’s wish fulfillment. I would absolutely love to be able to respond that way to people who have truly stepped over a line, you know? There is a time and a place for that. But instead, I work very hard at keeping everything I say diplomatic, because if I say “f–k you” to the man at the bar who’s negging me, he might threaten me or follow me home or something. And if I were to communicate as directly as the men in my office, I’d be fired instantaneously. So instead I tiptoe. I know I am also soft on Adam because of my crush, but my analytical marketing brain knows that this is overall a bad move, not just for his public image, but also for the movie he’s promoting. I’m sure this is not how Michael Mann, Adam’s director, wanted things to go.
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