Femmes to the fore in Directors’ Fortnight

Winocour, Ernaux, and Hansen-Løve lead the throng in Cannes

by Richard Mowe

Scene from Léa Mysius’s The Five Devils with Adèle Exarchopoulos and Sally Dramé, selected for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight
Scene from Léa Mysius’s The Five Devils with Adèle Exarchopoulos and Sally Dramé, selected for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Photo: Wild Bunch
With 11 films out of 23 directed by women the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight has easily eclipsed for gender balance the Festival’s Official Competition which only has three titles (up to this stage) from female directors.

Announcing the selection in Paris today the Quinzaine’s director Paolo Moretti paraded new works by the likes of Mia Hansen-Løve (One Fine Morning); Alice Winocour (Paris Memories); Léa Mysius (The Five Devils with Adèle Exarchopoulos and Sally Dramé); Manuela Martello’s 1976; and The Super 8 Years by novelist Annie Ernaux and her son David Ernaux-Briot.

Other female filmmakers likely to make a significant impression in the 54th line of the sidebar section are Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer with the Irish-set God’s Creature featuring Emily Watson, Aisling Franciosi and Paul Mescal. The pair scored with the debut film The Fits, which premiered in Venice before making a bow at Sundance.

Paolo Moretti announcing the Directors’ Fortnight selection
Paolo Moretti announcing the Directors’ Fortnight selection Photo: Richard Mowe
An action-packed adventure film The Green Perfume (Le Parfum Vert) described by Moretti as a cross between Tintin and Hitchcock will close the Quinzaine on 27 May. The film which stars Sandrine Kiberlain and Vincent Lacoste, is directed by Nicolas Pariser whose Alice and the Mayor featured in the section in 2018. The opening film on 18 May already announced is Scarlet, a period drama in French by Italian director Pietro Marcello

Other noteworthy contenders include Pamper, a genre film from Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuck; Swiss director Lionel Baier with a political comedy Continental Drift (South); Columbian director Fabian Hernandez making his feature debut with A Male and a metaphysical crime thriller Ashkal by Youssef Chebbi and Alex (Ex Machina) Garland with Men starring Jessie Buckley.

Kelly Reichardt will receive this year’s Director’s Fortnight’s honorary Carrosse d’Or honor and will host a masterclass. She has her latest film Showing Up as part of the official Competition.

The 2022 edition, the final one under the current artistic director Moretti, has a few titles still to announce including an Asian film. Asked how he would react to a Marine Le Pen presidency if she was to trounce Emmanuel Macron in the final round of the Presidential elections on Sunday Moretti said diplomatically: “I would rather not think about it … but in any case it would be a collective response and it’s not for me to say now how we might react.”

Directors' Fortnight

Opening film: Scarlet/L’envol (Pietro Marcello)

1976 (Manuela Martelli) (first film)

The Dam/Le Barrage (Ali Cherri)

The Super 8 Years/Les Années Super 8 (Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux-Briot) (first film)

Ashkal (Youssef Chebbi)

The Five Devils/Les Cinq Diables (Léa Mysius)

De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Véréna Paravel and Lucien Chastaing-Taylor)

Continental Drift (South) La dérive des continents (au sud) (Lionel Baier)

Enys Men (Mark Jenkin)

Falcon Lake (Charlotte Le Bon) (first film)

Will-o’-the-Wisp/Fogo-Fatuo (Joao Pedro Rodrigues)

Funny Pages (Owen Kline)

God’s Creatures (Anna Rose Holmer and Saela Davis)

Harkis (Philippe Faucon)

Men (Alex Garland)

The Mountain/La Montagne (Thomas Salvador)

Pamfir (Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Scobchuk)

Paris Memories / Revoir Paris (Alice Winocour)

Under the Fig Tree/Sous les figues (Erige Sehiri) (first film)

One Fine Morning/Un beau matin (Mia Hansen-Løve)

Un Varon (Fabian Hernandez) (first film)

The Water by Elena López Riera

Closing film: The Green Perfume/Le Parfum Vert (Nicolas Pariser)

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