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No Cannes Do - The Status of Women Directors at Cannes Over the Last Decade

by Melissa Silverstein
May 12, 2014 9:00 AM
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As the press and the film industry descend on Cannes this week, this gives us an opportunity to remind people one of the biggest problems that plague this festival as well as the industry in general - the lack of opportunities for women directors.

The powers that be in the Cannes Film Festival have done a very good job of shifting the narrative away from the lack of women directors wanting us to believe that this is a banner year for women at the festival. They have appointed some wonderfully talented women like Sofia Coppola and Andrea Arnold to be on the juries across the festival, and three women are presiding over them. Jane Campion will run the main main jury (which is equally divided be gender), and Nicole Garcia and Rebecca Zlotowski are the jury leaders over the Camera d'Or and the Critics Week respectively. 

But that still does not take away from the fact that there are only TWO women directors in the main competition and that is just not enough.

Here's a look at women directors over the last decade at Cannes. Does this look like things are getting better?

FYI- The numbers of women directors include directed and co-directed.

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  • B Boy | May 28, 2014 1:37 PMReply

    We should stop judging a film on who made it and focus on the films content. A persons race and gender will only separate the community when brought into a spotlight. If I was a female filmmaker who made it into a festival, I would question wither it was my film or my genitals, that got me in. That thought alone would make me feel inferior.

    Equal treatment for everyone will progress film as a whole and shift focus back into the art not the artist.

  • Me | May 15, 2014 7:32 PMReply


  • Rebecca O'Brien | May 13, 2014 9:24 AMReply

    Why don't women producers and writers count? The statistics would look a lot better if they did and might reflect better what women like to chose as their work.
    I'm on my 10th film in Competition at Cannes and it seems to count for nothing in this discussion, yet along with the director and writer I've certainly worked hard on all these films and hopefully had some impact.

  • Melissa Silverstein | May 13, 2014 1:29 PM


    You are right. For us it is harder to get all the info on producers. But this is something we have been thinking about and hopefully will be able to implement in the future.

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