As groundbreaking and compelling the annual Cannes Film Festival may be, the majority of films featured at the festival every year are directed by men. Unfortunately, the film industry still has a ways to go in terms of equality. However, that’s not to say that there are no notable female directors at this year’s Cannes festival. The female directors representing their work at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival are praiseworthy indeed. Here are just a few of the female directors who are shattering the glass ceilings at this year’s festival:
Nadine Labaki is a a Lebanese actress and director, best known for her 2010 film Where Do We Go Now?, a comedy about a group of women who try to keep their husbands from starting a religious war with one another due to a church and mosque existing on the same street in their village. She is far from a stranger to the Cannes Film Festival. She has completed a six month Cannes Film Festival Residence, attended the 2007 and 2011 Cannes Film Festivals for her films Caramel and Where Do We Go Now? and served on the jury for the Un Certain Regard category at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. This year Labaki is nominated in the official selection for the first time for her film Capernaum.
Eva Husson is a French director whose film Girls of the Sun is nominated in this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film’s protagonist is the leader of an all-female Kurdish military unit called Daughters of the Sun. Husson has been in the spotlight before when her French drama film Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) was shown at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. As her directorial debut, the film received mixed reviews from critics, but has a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This year is the first in which Husson’s work has been shown at Cannes.
Italian film director Alice Rohrwacher had her Cannes debut in 2011 with her first feature film Heavenly Body. In 2014, she was back at Cannes with her second feature film The Wonders, which took the Grand Prix. After winning the second most prestigious award offered at Cannes, Rohrwacher is returning this year with her film Happy as Lazzaro, which was selected as a finalist for the Palme d’Or.
While there are a handful of remarkable female directors in the official selection, for the first time in nearly a decade, the majority of directors in the festival’s critics’ week competition are women. The film industry, and the Cannes Film Festival, may need more practice focusing their attention on talented female directors, but this year’s director lineup is a promising step in the right direction. The critics’ week competition is dominated by female directors and soon, the official selection will see a more equal balance of female and male directors. In the meantime, let’s celebrate and support the talented female directors at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.