Of the 23 films selected for the official competition of the 80th Venice Film Festival, only six were directed by women. Few, but certainly able to compete for the most coveted prizes. Let’s find out together what they are.
Like every year, after the announcement of the official selection of the Venice Film Festival, we stop for a moment to analyze the trends, the unjustified absence, but above all the weight of female directors in the context of film festivals, which is slowly trying to always be more inclusive in the choice of films.
Often, Barbera, the artistic director of the Festival, has responded to criticisms about the small number of women directors who entered the competition, explaining that the festival is only the last step in a chain in which there is discrimination upstream (the ability to access the production of a film, its distribution and etc.).
At the same time, the numbers this year are not the best, at least in the most prestigious and coveted part, namely in the competition: out of 23 selected films, only six were made by women. Let’s find out which ones are together.
Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla
Everything seems to be in a cult style Sofia Coppola in his new biopic about Priscilla Presley, which the famous director directed based on the memoir Elvis and Me, written in 1985 by the ex-wife of the music star, along with Sandra Harmon. The protagonist of the film produced by A24 (guaranteed today) will be a painful love story between Elvis (with Jacob Elordi – Netflix trilogy star Kissing booth and cult series Euphoria – who takes over from the protagonist of the film Baz Luhrmann Austin Butler) and Priscilla Ann Wagner Beaulieu (Caylee Spani).
Origin from Ava DuVernay
Presence at the competition Ava DuVernay marks a historic milestone: the first African-American director was admitted to the main section of the Venice Film Festival. Duvernay directed Source based on a script written by him based on an essay Isabelle Wilkerson: “Caste: the origins of our discontent”.
Wilkerson and DuVernay co-wrote the screenplay, focusing on the causes of racism in modern America, which the two writers believe is reflected in a deeply rooted caste system. Surely, knowing the great resonance of DuVernay’s cinematography in his homeland, “Origin” can already be considered one of the films that are worth watching on the eve of the Oscar race.
Agnieszka Holland’s green border
Film about Agnieszka Holland tells about a meeting on the Polish-Belarusian border of a family of Syrian refugees, a lonely English teacher from Afghanistan and a young border guard, whose fates are intertwined due to another humanitarian crisis provoked by the laws of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Holland has previously been nominated twice for an Academy Award for bitter harvest (Bittere Ernte, 1985), in the category of best foreign film and with Europe Europe (1990) for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Polish director also directed Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis in the film Poets from hell (total eclipse) in 1995.
“Woman” by Malgorzata Shumovska
Malgorzata Szumowska is one of the most popular directors and screenwriters of the new Polish cinematography. In 2015 he received the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival for the film Helloand in 2018 he received the Grand Jury Prize for Another life – Mug. Already several times participated in the competition in Venice, this time again in collaboration with a partner (and director of photography) Michael Englertwith his unique, austere and often divisive style.
Holly Faina Trocha
Director’s new film High Troch tells the story of Holly, a fifteen-year-old girl who survived a tragic fire that broke out at her school. The tragedy affects the community, which is united, trying to overcome what happened. Teacher Anna, intrigued by the fact that Holly, usually very present, was absent on that fateful day, as if she knew about it for some strange and supernatural reason, invites the young woman to join the volunteer group she leads.