In question ? An industry that is still too masculine, defend the organizers. However, like last year – which saw the Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau win the supreme award and become the second award-winning director in history – this 75th edition is not without female directors, particularly in the parallel sections. They are five directors in competition (against four last year) and allow the Festival to reach its record: actress and director Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, 57, will present Les Amandiers, about the eponymous theater school founded by Patrice Chéreau . Also in the running for the Palme d’Or, Claire Denis, 76, with Stars at Noon, shot in Central America. Another Frenchwoman is in the running for the supreme distinction: Léonor Serraille, born in 1986 and of whom it is the second film after Young Woman. Entitled A Little Brother, it tells the story of an immigrant family from the late 1980s to the present day. A great figure in independent cinema, the American Kelly Reichardt, 58, will present Showing Up, on the daily life of an artist embodied by Michelle Williams. We will also have to take into account the Belgian Charlotte Vandermeersch, 38, for Les Huit Montagnes, co-directed with Félix Van Groeningen. Parity difficult to achieve? As for the other major festivals, the question of parity is not obvious. In September, the Mostra of Venice had selected, in competition, five films of directors. On twenty-one films. Only the Berlinale does better: for its edition in February 2022, seven films out of the eighteen in competition were the work of female directors. As in Cannes, two women – the French Audrey Diwan and the Spaniard Carla Simon – won the prestigious prizes of these festivals. The Cannes Film Festival is not limited to its Official Selection. Thus, in Critics’ Week, which highlights young directors, of the eleven feature films selected, five are directed by women, including Everyone Loves Jeanne by Céline Devaux, with comedian Blanche Gardin. Same tone on the side of the Directors’ Fortnight, where eleven directors are selected, for a total of twenty-three films. Created by the Society of Film Directors in 1969, this section aims to discover the films of young authors and to salute the works of recognized directors. It will begin this year with the presentation of the traditional Carrosse d’or to Kelly Reichardt. Among the films selected, the long-awaited Les Années Super 8, the first film by author Annie Ernaux, directed with her son David, or the film by Mia Hansen-Løve Un beau matin, with Melvil Poupaud and Léa Seydoux. Official selection remains the weak link, on the side of the jury, parity is more respected with four women out of nine members. Three times, women outnumbered men (2009, 2014 and 2018). Moreover, if the president of the jury is a man, Vincent Lindon, the names of actresses like Penélope Cruz had circulated until the last moment. will succeed Pierre Lescure in July. She will be the only woman at the head of a major festival. As for the parallel sections, Ava Cahen took the lead this year in Critics’ Week. Finally, the Festival gives pride of place to several films and documentaries brewing on subjects related to women such as feminicides and access abortion, including Riposte féministe (Un certain regard) by Marie Perennès and Simon Depardon and Holy Spider by Ali Abbasi, in competition.
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