17 May 2010

Despite the worldwide success of female filmmakers with Kathryn Bigelow representing the last glorious example (2009 Best Director Oscar winner), at the 63rd edition of the Cannes Film Festival no woman will run for the top prize Palme D’Or.

In fact, the only films directed by women will be screened in the ‘Out of Competition’ (French Julie Bertucelli is the only woman in the selection with her The Three) or ‘Special Screenings’ selections (such as Italian Sabina Guzzanti who will present Draquila, her controversial documentary on the earthquake in L’Aquila city, and UK directors Sophie Fiennes with Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow and Lucy Walker with Countdown to Zero).

Finally, Hungarian Ágnes Kocsis is the only female author selected for ‘Un Certain Regard’ with her Andrienn Pal.

7 women (if we include Brazilians Manaira Carneiro and Luciana Bezerra 2 of the 7 directors of the coral film 5 X Favela) with their 6 films out of 56 selected in the major sections ‘In Competition’, ‘Out of Competition’, ‘Un Certain Regard’, and ‘Special Screenings’.

Yet last year, Jane Campion, the only woman ever to have won the Palme D’Or for The Piano in 1993, commented on the lack of female directors in important competitions such as Cannes and stated that the ‘sexist’ approach of the studios towards female directors is only part of the problem. She added that “women tend to be too sensitive to become successful film directors” and it may be difficult for them to “develop a tough skin”.

The director, in competition in Cannes 2009 with her Bright Star (among the 20 films selected together with Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Isabel Coixet’s Map of the Sounds of Tokyo), concluded by wishing “to see more women directors because they represent half the population” however she added that “women must put on their coats of armour and get going, because we want to see more of them in the competition”.


External link:


External links to Jane Campion interview: