Twenty-three films are in competition for this year’s Palme D’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival; not a single one is directed by a woman. Nearly 1,800 films were submitted for consideration, and I would assume that SOME of them were female-directed. Still, none were deemed worthy.
Some explanations being offered are pretty anemic, such as failure to meet deadlines. The example being pointed to is Kathryn Bigelow. Her first film since “The Hurt Locker,” ‘Zero Dark Thirty,” will be released in December, but was not finished in time to submit to the festival. Those dizzy dames just can’t get their films in on time!
More probable reasons could be male-dominated festival panels, challenges securing financing for female driven productions, and lack of gender parity in Hollywood. Only 15 percent of all narrative films made in the United States in 2011 were directed by women, and of the 250 highest grossing films at the box office, a mere 5 percent were directed by women. (Source).
Thankfully, female filmmakers have a presence at other major festivals such as Tribeca and Sundance. Looks like May will be a decent month at the box office as well. Take a look at what’s being released this month:
First Position – Bess Kargman – May 4
A documentary that follows six young dancers as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix.
Last Call at the Oasis – Jessica Yu – May 4
A documentary on the world’s water crisis.
Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish – Eve Annenberg – May 11
A retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” In Yiddish.
Small, Beautiful Moving Parts – co-directed by Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson – May 11
An irreverent account of a woman’s coming to terms with parenthood in the age of technology.
Polisse – directed by Maiwenn – May 18
A film about the daily lives of the women and men of the Parisian child protection police unit.
Hysteria – Tanya Wexler – May 18
A romantic comedy based on the story of intentor the first vibrator.
Mighty Fine – Debbie Goodstein – May 25
A semi-autobiographical story of a family relocating from Brooklyn to New Orleans in the 1970s.
My version of Marry, Screw or Kill for movies is Theatre, Apple TV (they sometimes have theatrical releases available) or Netflix. For this list I’d have to say it’s:
Apple TV – First Position
Netflix – Hysteria
What’s your take?