Cannes 2021: High Number of Female Filmmakers, but Competition Is Same


With an overstuffed lineup and a brand-new segment, the pageant has been in a position to bulk up its gender range. However the true tale is the one who hasn’t modified.

The quantity certain seems just right on paper: for the primary time, the Cannes Movie Competition is webhosting 20 female filmmakers amongst its Professional Variety, together with Pageant, Un Sure Regard, and the newly-created Cannes Premiere segment. And, but, as ceaselessly is the case with Cannes, the satan is in the main points. And lots of of the ones devils certain glance acquainted.

Bouncing again from 2020 — all through which the lauded pageant didn’t host a real match, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however did no less than announce which movies it could have integrated — Cannes has returned with a stuffed Selection, together with 63 general movies, accounting for a comparably massive Pageant segment and a completely new segment in Cannes Premiere. Most effective 18 of the ones movies are directed by way of a number of ladies, which means that more or less 29 p.c of the entire lineup has no less than one feminine director (two movies are co-directed by way of two ladies).

This 12 months, the pageant will host 4 movies directed by way of ladies in its Pageant segment — out of general of 24, that suggests simply 16.6 p.c of the segment’s movies had been made by way of ladies — a bunch which appears to be some type of sticking level for Cannes, because the segment has by no means hosted greater than 4 female-directed movies amongst its ranks. Just one lady, Jane Campion together with her “The Piano,” has ever received the Palme d’Or. (Campion, a Cannes common, is a no-show on the pageant this 12 months, as her newest, “The Energy of the Canine,” is a Netflix-produced name. That’s a large loss in its personal proper.)

Cannes didn’t even program 4 Pageant titles from ladies till 2011 (the 12 months after, in 2012, no ladies made it into the segment). Between 2016-2018, simplest 3 feminine filmmakers made it into Pageant every 12 months; in 2019, the pageant once more notched 4 feminine administrators in festival.

Competing along Wes Anderson, Paul Verhoeven, Sean Baker, Leos Carax, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul are Ildikó Enyedi (whose “Frame and Soul” received Berlin’s Golden Undergo) together with her “The Tale of My Lifestyles,” Mia Hansen-Løve together with her long-awaited “Bergman Island,” “Uncooked” breakout Julia Ducournau with horror movie “Titane,” and returning Pageant filmmaker Catherine Corsini, who will display her “L. a. fracture” 20 years after her “L. a. Repetition” competed.

“Bergman Island”

As festival director Thierry Fremaux told IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn earlier this week: “In regards to the Professional Variety: Since 1946, we’ve got no longer implemented any standards instead of that of the works, no longer the gender of the artists. Alternatively, within the match of a tie within the programming procedure between two movies, we will be able to go for the only directed by way of a lady. However there’s nonetheless immense development to be made. In many nations, the presence of girls isn’t sturdy sufficient. The excellent news this 12 months is for French cinema, during which we see actual development. I am hoping the Variety can attest to that.”

This 12 months does certainly boast an build up in feminine filmmakers, however Cannes continues to withstand making nice strides within the space, in spite of showing a profound hobby in speaking about it. This all comes 3 years after the pageant’s adoption of the the 5050×2020 gender-parity pledge in 2018, which was only possible after a starry red carpet protest made it just about inconceivable for the pageant to do not anything.

Within the years because the adoption of that pledge, feminine filmmaker illustration has trended upper, despite the fact that slowly. Right here’s what number of feminine filmmakers have screened on the pageant in recent times: 16 in 2020, 14 in 2019, 11 in 2018, 12 in 2017, nine in 2016, and six in 2015.

A minimum of this 12 months, the pageant isn’t making an attempt to promote it as another way, like they did in 2020. Ultimate 12 months, the festival boasted a “significant increase” within the collection of feminine filmmakers whose paintings was once set to be stamped as a Cannes variety, that didn’t truly end up out with a more in-depth take a look at the real numbers.

On the time, the pageant’s legitimate remark on its choices famous that “the collection of feminine administrators integrated within the variety displays a vital build up,” which integrated movies from 13 feminine filmmakers. Proportion-wise, that “vital” build up was once merely no longer there: More or less 23 p.c of the entire lineup got here from feminine filmmakers, down from the 12 months ahead of (23.7 p.c) and a determine that was once additionally less than the share of feminine administrators who submitted their movies to the pageant.

Director Eva Husson and DP Mattias Troelstrup shooting "Girls of the Sun"

Director Eva Husson and DP Mattias Troelstrup capturing “Ladies of the Solar”

Dina Oganova

As is ceaselessly the case, the excellent news can generally be present in different sections. This 12 months, seven of the 16 movies in Un Sure Regard are directed by way of a number of feminine filmmakers (“Ladies Do Cry” is directed by way of two, Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova), bringing the segment just about to parity. That’s par for the direction for the extra young-skewing segment, which can this 12 months host movies from Hafsia Herzi, Gessica Généus, Tatiana Huezo, Laura Wandel, Teodora Ana Mihai, and Kira Kovalenko as neatly.

The newly introduced Cannes Premiere segment contains 3 movies directed or co-directed by way of ladies, together with returning stars Andrea Arnold together with her “Cow” and Eva Husson together with her “Mothering Sunday.” Arnold — who has in the past premiered 3 movies in Pageant, all of which earned a jury prize — is now appearing paintings out of doors Pageant, most probably since the lo-fi bovine-themed documentary doesn’t precisely scream for a flashy festival slot. In a similar fashion, Husson, who debuted her “Ladies of the Solar” in Pageant, has now simplest notched a “Cannes Premiere” spot.

In other places, Valerie Lemercier will debut her “Aline, the Voice of Love” out of festival, the place it’ll be joined by way of Emmanuelle Bercot’s “In His Lifetime,” the one different female-directed characteristic within the narrow segment. The pageant may also host a couple of Particular Screenings that characteristic feminine administrators: Charlotte Gainsbourg’s “Jane by way of Charlotte” (a documentary about her mom, Jane Birkin) and the omnibus movie “The Yr of the Permanent Typhoon,” which options sections directed by way of Laura Poitras and Dominga Sotomayar.

Twenty. It certain sounds just right, however so long as Cannes falls in need of letting extra ladies compete in its very best segment, it’s simply extra of the similar: giant communicate, little exchange.

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