Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Women in Cannes 2016

Many things have been written about women and Cannes 2016 but got the feeling that not many articles gave a positive light into the future of female participation in world cinema. While this time I’m not trying to save the world of females in cinema, will share what I consider a positive reaction to the female directors and actresses that will attend this edition of the festival.

We already know that there are many great actresses in movies that this year are in the Official Selection as well as in the parallel sections and will try to “count” them for you but will start with the directors that to my surprise and just in the official selection plus Cannes Classics amount a total of 27 female directors with 8 feature films, 5 documentaries and 11 short films.

As a matter of fact, the parallel sections also have some female directors’ presence with 11 in the Quinzaine and 9 in la Semaine de la Critique. So when we consider all movies in Cannes we find 47 female directors with films in this year's edition. No, will not count the male directors as then will do what all others are doing, but estimate that the percentage will follow the industry with 25% or less.

Nevertheless talking about 47 directors is no easy task, so will give more info about directors of feature films and less about the directors of short films, but will give links to read bios at official site if you're interested in learning more about these filmmakers of the future.

There is one very unpleasant surprise with the new Cannes site, yes looks fantastic with all the new photo-centrism pages BUT there is so much info lost from the past!!! Sigh. Hope they fix site to include info from previous editions as the old site use to have. I do appreciate info from the past and present so it's quite upsetting for me to discover that most links to old site are broken now and do not transfer to equivalent in new site. GRRRRR.

Unfortunately I'm traveling so what I was trying to do will be a lot shorter, still enjoy the photos from the 47 directors and info about the three directors in the main competition. Sigh.

Meet the Female Filmmakers

Official Selection - In Competition

There are three (3) films by female directors in the main competition, what follows is a brief bio plus info of the films they had in Cannes before, if applicable.

Andrea Arnold with American Honey

She was born in Dartford and not only directs but also writes screenplays. She made her debut with two short films, Milk in 1998 and Dog in 2001. She gained international recognition when she won in 2005 the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film with Wasp.

Her first feature film, Red Road won in 2006 the Jury Prize in Cannes and most impressive her 2009 film Fish Tank won once again the Jury Prize. In 2011, she directed an adaptation of Emily Bronte¹s Wuthering Heights, the film was shown at the 68th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Golden Osella for Best Cinematography.

Believe that with American Honey Arnold has great chances of wining an award again this year but as we know 2016 international jury is very-very heterogeneous so, somehow, I expect some surprises from jury; nevertheless Arnold has great credentials to collect honors.

Nicole Garcia with Mal de Pierres (From the Land of the Moon)

Born in Oran, France (now Algeria) on April 22, 1946. She studied philosophy and then drama before she began to tread the boards. With a first prize in acting from the Conservatoire under her belt, she appeared in a number of theater plays before breaking into to the French film scene with her role in the Alain Resnais 1979 film Mon oncle d'Amérique (My American Uncle; but, there are many more performances before and after that film as according to IMDb she has 80 credits as an actress.

In 1985, she ventured into directing her first feature film Un week-end sur deux (Every Other Weekend) but her first experience was directing a short, 15 août, that was in competition at 1986 Cannes.

The world she chose to illuminate was a very private one, full of vibrant and complex characters such as those played by Gérard Lanvin in Le Fils préféré (1993) or Catherine Deneuve in Place Vendôme (1997). Nicole Garcia confirmed her talents as a filmmaker with L’Adversaire (2002), starring Daniel Auteuil, and Selon Charlie (2005), a film based around a chorus of seven male characters. In 2009, she revisited the Algeria of her childhood with Un balcon sur la mer starring Jean Dujardin. Her latest film, Going Away, starring Louise Bourgoin and Pierre Rochefort was released in 2014.

Her film in Cannes is one of the two in competition starring none other than Marion Cotillard; also in film, one of my favorite French actors, Louis Garrel.  Not sure how film will be accepted in Cannes as is an epic complex romance based on a novel by Milena Angus, but there are always chances as she has collected many honors as a director in the festival circuit and French awards.

Maren Ade with Toni Erdmann

She was born on December 12, 1976 in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She first studied film production and media management and then later, film direction at the University of Television and Film in Munich. In 2001 co-founded Komplizen Film a film production company that produced her final student film Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen (The Forest of the Trees) that went to win the Special Jury Prize at 2005 Sundance fest.

Her second feature film, Alle Anderen (Everyone Else) premiered in competition at the 2009 Berlinale and won the Jury Grand Prize plus the Best Actress Silver Bear for Birgit Minichmayr. She's a very act5ive producer and perhaps her most eye-poping production work is for 2015 Arabian Nights trilogy by Miguel Gomes. No doubt she has the most impressive credentials, so after winning accolades in Sundance and Berlin now is the turn of Cannes with her third feature film that believe has high chances of collecting an award.

Un Certain Regard

Four films and five directors.

In photo: Delphine and Muriel Coulin with their film Voir du Pays (Stopover), Stephanie DiGiusto with La Danseuse (The Dancer), Andrea Testa co-director of La Larga Noche de Francisco Sanctis (Francisco Sancti's Long Night), and Maha Haj with עומאר שקסייה Omor Shakhsiya (Personal Affairs.)

Out of Competition

One film and one director, but she's none other than Jodie Foster with Money Monster.

No, there are no female directors in the Special Screenings nor in the Midnight Screenings, but when it comes to short films there are plenty.

Short Films Competition

Three directors with three short films but only one has a single director, the other two are co-directed with a male director.

In photo: Gabi Virginia Sarga co-director of 4:15 P.M. Sfarsitul Lumii (4:15 P.M. The End of the World), Sara Dunlop with Dreamlands and Farnoosh Samadi Frooshani co-director of Il Silenzio (The Silence).

Cinéfondation Selection

Nine directors with nine short films.

In photo, first row: Nadja Andrasev with A nyalintás nesze (The Noise of Licking), Mélody Boulissière with Ailleurs (Somewhere), Malena Vain with Business,  Marta Hernaiz Pidal with Dobro (Fine), Anna Cazenave Cambet with Gabber Lover.
Second row: Laura Samani with La Santa Che Dorme (The Sleeping Saint), Mounia AKL with Submarine, Fereshteh Parnian with Aram, and Or Sinai with Anna.

Cannes Classics

There are six directors with five feature documentaries about cinema.

In photo, first row: Shirley Abraham co-director of The Cinema Travelers, Sally Sussman with Midnight Return: The Story of Billy Hayes and Turkey, and Alexis Bloom co-director of Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fischer and Debbie Reynolds.
Second row:  Julia Kuperberg and Clara Kuperberg co directors of Et La femme créa Hollywood (Women Who Run Hollywood), and Esther Hoffenberg with Bernadette Lafont et Dieu créa la femme libre

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Selection

There are eleven (11) female directors in the Quinzaine this year, four with feature films and seven with short films.

Feature Films

There are four directors with four films.

In photo: Laura Poitras with Risk, Shahrbanoo Sadat with Wolf and Sheep, Houda Benyamina with Divines and Sólveig Anspach (R.I.P.) with L'effet aquatique (The Together Project).

Short Films

Seven directors with five short films

In photo, first row: Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret co-directors of Chasse Royale, Tamar Rudoy with Habat Shel Hakala, and Dea Kulumbegashvili with Léthé
Second row: Isabel Penoni and Valentina Homem co-directors of O Segredo De Abigail (Abigail) and Ena Sendijarevic with Import.

Semaine de la Critique

Feature Films

There are two female directors, one in the Competition and the other is the opening film screened as Special Screenings.

In photo: Julia Ducournau with Grave (Raw) and Justine Triet with Victoria (In Bed with Victoria).

Short Films

Seven directors with seven short films. Three directors are well-known French and American actresses.

In photo, first row: Rina B. Tsou with Arnie, Cristèle Alves Meira with Campo de Víboras , and Kostantina Kotzamani with Limbo.
Second row: Sandrine Kiberlain with Bonne Figure (Smile), Laetitia Casta with En Moi, and Chloë Sevigny with Kitty.

No excuse, but when not home, not easy to do posts; BUT thank you very much to blog reader that found the 47 director I couldn't find yesterday.  One director and one short film in La Semaine, Luca Tóth with Superbia.

Not exactly what I had in mind for honoring female directors but since I'm traveling ... this is it. Sigh.

The Actresses

Wish to close with a showcase of the many female actresses that will walk the red carpet and Cannes streets. Worth mentioning is Marion Cotillard comes back to Cannes in TWO (2) films In Competition, one by Nicole Garcia and the other by Xavier Dolan. Also with two films, Kristen Stewart, one in competition by Olivier Assayas and another with the honor of being the Opening Film by Woody Allen.

But we also will see just from the films in competition Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Léa Seydoux, Adèle Haenel, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Charlize Theron, Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks and Jenna Malone. Then in the out of competition we will have none other than Julia Roberts in her first ever Cannes visit; plus Blake Lively, Parker Posey, and Catherine Denevue in a Special Screening film.

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