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A List of the Women-Directed and Women-Centric Films Looking for Deals in Cannes

Women and Hollywood By Inkoo Kang | Women and Hollywood May 16, 2014 at 2:00PM

Among them are films by directors Susanne Bier, Jodie Foster, Haifaa Al-Mansour, and Natalie Portman.
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Director Natalie Portman on set of "A Tale of Love and Darkness"
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90 Director Natalie Portman on set of "A Tale of Love and Darkness"

It's a "seller's market" at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, according to Deadline. Some US sales include The Amy Adams-starring sci-fi pic Story of Your Life which sold for $20 million to Paramount, and Nicole Kidman's Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco (which opens in France shortly) finally closed its deal with the Weinstein Co for US distribution. 

There are plenty of fascinating-sounding women-directed and women-starring films on offer at the Croisette. Not all are being shown in their entirety at Cannes; many sellers are offering just a sizzle reel and some are looking for financing to get made. Needless to say, a lot of these films -- including those by directors Susanne Bier, Jodie Foster, Haifaa Al-Mansour, and Natalie Portman -- have us rather excited. 

Descriptions below courtesy of Deadline. 

DARK PLACES - Director and writer: Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks. The sole survivor of a violent home invasion, Libby Day lives with the knowledge that her testimony as a 7-year-old sentenced her brother to life in prison for the horrific crime. Twenty-five years later, crime enthusiasts convince her to re-examine the events. Based on the Gillian Flynn novel.

QUEEN OF THE DESERT - Director and writer: Werner Herzog, Cast: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damian Lewis. Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the Lawrence of Arabia of female diplomats and political attache for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th century. 

KIDNAP - Director: Luis Prieto. Cast: Halle Berry. A mother tries to stop the kidnapping of her child in a thriller that plays out in real time.

THE SEARCH - Director: Michel Hazanavicius, Cast: Berenice Bejo, Annette Bening. Chechnya-set adaptation of 1948 Oscar winner The Search, which follows an NGO worker who bonds with a small boy who's been separated from his mother in the war-torn nation.  Film is playing in competition here.

ROOM - Director: Lenny Abrahamson. Cast: Brie Larson. A young mother shelters her 5-year-old son from the truth that the tiny shed they inhabit is in fact the site of their incarceration after she was kidnapped years ago as a teenager. 

A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS - Director, writer and star: Natalie Portman. Drama based on Amos Oz's memoir about his mother Fania, who struggles with postwar realities while raising her son in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel. Dealing with a married life of unfulfilled promises and integration in a foreign land, Fania battles depression and can only escape in a world of daydreams. 

A STORM IN THE STARS - Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour. The circumstances that led Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. 

SUFFRAGETTE - Director: Sarah Gavron. Script by Abi Morgan Cast: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Ann-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson. Focus is UK suffragette movement in 1912 England, culminating in the notorious Derby Day when Emily Davison died after leaping out in front of the King's horse. 

MISSISSIPPI GRIND - Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck. Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller. Gambler in debt sets off on a road trip through the Southern U.S. with a young gambling addict in an attempt to change his luck. 

MONEY MONSTER - Director: Jodie Foster. Cast: George Clooney. Lee Gates is a television personality whose insider-trading tips make him the guru of Wall Street. That is, until he's held hostage on air by a man who has lost all of his family's money because of a bad tip. Ratings soar as the entire country tunes in to find out just how much a man's life is worth. 

THE DIG - Director: Susanne Bier. Cast: Cate Blanchett. Set in a riverside village in Suffolk on the eve of WWII, a widowed farmer has her hunch proved correct that the strange mounds on her land hold buried treasure.

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, Women Directors, Susanne Bier, Natalie Portman, Sarah Gavron, Jodie Foster, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Anna Boden


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