Cannes Film Festival | The difficult parity equation

(Paris) As an air of deja vu: with five female directors – out of 21 films – in competition, the Cannes Film Festival is struggling to keep its promise of parity. In question ? An industry that is still too masculine, defend the organizers.

Posted at 11:42

Alexandra DEL PERAL
France Media Agency

However, like last year – which saw the Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau win the supreme award and become the second award-winning director in history – this 75and edition is not without female directors, especially in the parallel sections.

5: record

They are five directors in competition (against four last year) and allow the Festival to reach its record: the actress and director Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, 57, will present The Almond Treesabout the eponymous theater school founded by Patrice Chéreau.

Also in the running for the Palme d’Or, Claire Denis, 76, with Stars At Noonfilmed in Central America.

Another Frenchwoman is in the running for the supreme distinction: Léonor Serraille, born in 1986 and for whom this is the second film after Young woman. Entitled A little brotherit tells the story of an immigrant family from the late 1980s to the present day.

Cannes Film Festival The difficult parity equation

PHOTO BY BRIAN ACH, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Claire Denis will be in the running for the Palme d’Or with Stars At Noonfilmed in Central America.

A great figure in independent cinema, the American Kelly Reichardt, 58, will present Showing-upabout the daily life of an artist played by Michelle Williams.

It will also be necessary to count with the Belgian Charlotte Vandermeersch, 38 years old, for The Eight Mountainsco-directed with Félix Van Groeningen.

As for the other major festivals, the question of parity is not obvious either. In September, the Mostra of Venice had selected, in competition, five films of directors. On 21 movies. Only the Berlinale does better: for its edition in February 2022, seven films out of the 18 in competition were the work of female directors.

As in Cannes, two women – the French Audrey Diwan and the Spaniard Carla Simon – who won the prestigious prizes of these festivals.

The parallel sections

The Cannes Film Festival is not just about its Official Selection. Thus, in Critics’ Week, which highlights young directors, of the eleven feature films selected, five are directed by women, including Everybody loves Joan 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 23 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 The Super 8 Yearsthe first film by author Annie Ernaux, made with her son David, or the film by Mia Hansen-Løve A nice morning with Melvil Poupaud and Léa Seydoux.

Sides

If the 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.

Added to this is the appointment as President of the Festival of jurist Iris Knobloch, who 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 stirring up subjects related to women such as feminicides, access to abortion, including Feminist response (Un certain regard) by Marie Perennès and Simon Depardon or holy spider of Ali Abbasi, in competition.

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Cannes Film Festival | The difficult parity equation