Cannes celebrates 75 years of festivals 18-28 May

By Moira Sullivan

The 75th Cannes Film Festival may not rival last year's event with films selected after the worst of the pandemic but its virtues like all Cannes festivals are evident. The lineup of 22 films features five films by women, a slight step up after the heavy activism of filmmakers and actors in 2018 festival in side bars with seminars and meetings: Claire Denis, Kelly Reichardt, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and later additions Leonor Serraille with Un Petit Frère and Charlotte Vandermeersch, co-director of The Eight Mountains". Since 2015 there has been a visible #METOO presence and supporters of gender equality such as Agnès Varda, Ava DuVernay, and Cate Blanchett - president of Cannes Jury in 2018. When asked about this Blanchett answered: “A few years ago there were only two, and I know the selection committee has more women on board than in previous years, which will obviously change the lens through which the films are chosen. But these things are not going to happen overnight . . . would I like to see more women in competition? Absolutely. Do I expect and hope that is going to happen in the future? I hope so.”

Another activist who has taken signifiant strides in equality parity is the Swedish film Industry is Anna Serner, former CEO of the Swedish Film Institute who brought 50/50 gender equality to the selection of films receiving funding. Great Britain followed with a similar program with mandatory 50-50 gender parity for public film funding by 2020. Cannes has not changed much and statements by Cannes President Thierry Frémaux signals it will not change until thinking changes. And that takes time.

Beyond the official competition are several sections that feature a significant amount of women such as Alice Winocour’s Paris Memories starring Virginie Efira, a survivor of the 2015 Parisian attacks (Revoir Paris), Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning, starring Léa Seydoux and Melvil Poupaud.

Other films in Un Certain Regard directed by women include Emily Atef’s More Than Ever, Maha Haj’s Mediterranean Fever, and Maryam Touzani’s The Blue Caftan”. Special screenings include Doroteya Droumeva’s The Vagabonds and Amandine Fredon’s Little Nicholas (co-directed with Benjamin Massoubre).

Towards the close of the festival Cannes will host #RendezVousAvec Alice Rohrwacher at Salle Debussy. The Italian director, Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in 2014 for Les Merveilles and Best Screenplay Award for Heureux comme Lazzaro in 2018, will reflect on her exceptional career.

© 2022 - Moira Jean Sullivan: 05/17/22
Movie Magazine International