Female directors dominate in Cannes Festival competition
Mexican director-screenwriter-producer Alejandro Gonzales Inarrutu will preside over the competition jury. The jury includes four women: American actress Elle Fanning, actress-director from Burkina Faso Maimouna N’Diaye, Italian director-screenwriter Alice Rohrwacher and American director-screenwriter-editor Kelly Reichardt. They are joined by four men: Yugoslav origin French author of graphic novels Enki Bilal, French director-screenwriter Robin Campillo, Greek director-screenwriter-producer Yorgos Lanthimos and Polish director-screenwriter Pawel Pawlikowski, author of “Cold War.”
The competition lineup includes 21 titles, including four by female directors, an increase of one from the 2018 festival.
French-Senegalese Mati Diop, with her film, “Atlantique,” is reportedly the first black woman to compete in the festival, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The other women are Austrian Jessica Hausner with “Little Joe” and French directors Justine Triet with “Sibyl” and Celine Sciamma with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”
Notably for Turkey, Palestinian director Elia Suleiman will compete with “It Must Be Heaven,” a Turkish co-production.
The festival will open with a picture by American director Jim Jarmusch, “The Dead Don’t Die” which will compete for the Palm d’Or.
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar returns to the festival with “Pain & Glory.” Also in the lineup are Canadian Xavier Dolan with “Matthias and Maxime,” Ken Loach of the United Kingdom with “Sorry We Missed You,” Italian director Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor” and Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “Young Ahmed.”
Other competitors are Romanian director Corneliu Porumboboiu “The Whistlers,” French director Arnaud Desplechin’s “Oh Mercy,” South Korean Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite, ” Chinese director Diao Yinan’s “The Wild Goose Lake,” Brazilians Kleber Mendonça Filho’s and Juliano Dornelles’ “Bacurau,” American Ira Sachs’ “Frankie,” and Malian-French director Ladj Ly with “Les Misérables” and American Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life.”
American Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and Algerian-French director Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Mektoub, My love: Intermezzo” are the latest additions to the competition roster.
A certain look
Nine other female directors were selected for the “Un Certain Regard” section of the festival. The Jury of this section will be presided by a woman, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki and two members of the five-person jury are women, too, including a Turkish-German producer, Nurhan Şekerci-Porst, who produced several movies by Fatih Akın, as well as co-produced “Takva.”
Another post taken by a female director is the presidency of the Short Film and Cinéfondation jury. French director Claire Denis will chair that jury evaluating 11 shorts (selected from 4,240 movies) and 17 movies (selected out of 2,000 applications) from film schools around the world. This year’s selection has a strong emphasis on the film schools of Central and Eastern Europe.
No Turkish films have been selected so far for the overall program. Last year, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “The Wild Pear Tree” was added to the selection at the last moment.
The program also includes Out of Competition movies. Those include Lelouche’s latest film, “The Best Years of Life,” and episodes from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Amazon series “Too Old To Die Young.” Special Screenings will feature the latest Herzog movie “Family Romance, LLC,” Elton John’s “Rocketman” and Cannes Classics (restored copies of films by Bunuel, Huston, Renoir, Wajda, Wertmüller and Forman).
The poster of the 72nd Festival pays tribute to the recently deceased woman director, Agnes Varda, with a picture taken from her set. This year, the Honorary Palme d’Or will be given to French star Alain Delon to pay tribute to his wonderful presence in the history of film.