With Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week and Main-Slate Additions, Cannes Reveals a Strong Showing for Female-Helmed Flicks

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After a competition announcement that disappointed women filmmakers and their advocates, the Cannes Film Festival has somewhat redeemed itself with a strong, female-powered Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, plus a few late additions to the main slate. In fact, the festival has now broken its own record for the number of female filmmakers premiering their work in competition. On April 21 the Cannes Film Festival announced that in its 54th year, five films directed or co-directed by women will screen in competition for the first time.

A large slate of additions included The Eight Mountains by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen and Un Petit Frère by Leonor Serraille, which will screen in the Competition section. This brings the percentage of total films directed or co-directed by women in competition to a new festival high of 23.8 percent. Across the entire official selection of 65 films, 15 were directed or co-directed by women, amounting to just under a quarter of the full slate.

The festival added a number of other female-directed films to other sections, including Emily Atef’s More Than Ever, Maha Haj’s Mediterranean Fever, and Maryam Touzani’s The Blue Caftan in Un Certain Regard, plus Doroteya Droumeva’s The Vagabonds and Amandine Fredon’s Little Nicholas (co-directed with Benjamin Massoubre) in special screenings.

Several French female directors whose work was not selected for the Official Selection will premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar that runs alongside the Cannes Film Festival. Mia Hansen-Love’ One Fine Morning stars Léa Seydoux as a single mother caring for her sick father. Alice Winocour’s Paris Memories stars Virginie Efira as a survivor of the 2013 Paris attacks. Lea Mysius’ The Five Devils stars Adèle Exarchopoulos in the story of an 8-year-old girl whose life shifts in violent and magical ways when her aunt is released from prison.

Other female-directed movies slated for Directors’ Fortnight include Manuela Martelli’s 1976 and Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux-Briot’s documentary The Super 8 Years, Canadian director Charlotte Le Bon’s Falcon Lake and Elena López Riera’s The Water. Directors’ Fortnight opens with Pietro Marcello’s French-language period drama Scarlet on May 18 and close with Nicolas Pariser’s adventure film The Green Perfume, starring Sandrine Kiberlain and Vincent Lacoste.

Critics’ Week, the sidebar dedicated to first and second films running alongside the Cannes Film Festival, was also announced this week. The sidebar will feature 11 feature films, including four directed by women, and open with Jesse Eisenberg’s feature debut When You Finish Saving the World, starring Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard. French Critics’ Week selections include Clément Cogitore’s Sons of Ramses, Céline Devaux’s Everybody Loves Jeanne, French-Portuguese director Cristèle Alves Meira’s Alma Viva,  and Simon Rieth’s Summer Scars.

Directors’ Fortnight:

“Scarlet,” Pietro Marcello (Opening Film)

“1976,” Manuela Martelli

“The Dam,” Ali Cherri

“The Super 8 Years,” Annie Ernaux, David Ernaux-Briot

“Ashkal,” Youssef Chebbi

“The Five Devils,” Léa Mysius

“De Humani Corporis Fabrica,” Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

“Continental Drift (South),” Lionel Baier

“The Water,” Elena López Riera

“Enys Men,” Mark Jenkin

“Falcon Lake,” Charlotte Le Bon

“Will-o’-the-Wisp,” João Pedro Rodrigues

“Funny Pages,” Owen Kline

“God’s Creatures,” Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis

“Harkis,” Philippe Faucon

“Men,” Alex Garland (Special Screening)

“The Mountain,” Thomas Salvador

“Pamfir,” Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk

“Paris Memories, Alice Winocour

“Under the Fig Trees,” Erige Sehiri

“One Fine Morning,” Mia Hansen-Løve

“A Male,” Fabian Hernández

“The Green Perfume,” Nicolas Pariser (Closing Film)

Critics’ Week:


“Aftersun,” Charlotte Wells
United Kingdom – United States

“Alma Viva,” Cristèle Alves Meira
France – Portugal

“Love According to Dalva,” Emmanuelle Nicot
Belgium – France

“La Jauría,” Andrés Ramírez Pulido
Colombia – France

“Summer Scars,” Simon Rieth

“Tasavor” (“Imagine”), Ali Behrad

“The Woodcutter Story,” Mikko Myllylahti
Finland – Denmark – Netherlands – Germany

Special Screenings

“When You Finish Saving the World,” Jesse Eisenberg
United States (Opening Film)

“Sons of Ramses,” Clément Cogitore

“Everybody Loves Jeanne,” Céline Devaux

“Da-eum-so-hee” (“Next Sohee”), Jung July
South Korea (Closing Film)


April 21 additions to Competition, Midnight, Un Certain Regard, and Out of Competition sections.

“The Eight Mountains,” Charlotte Vandermeersch, Felix Van Groeningen
“Un Petit Frère,” Leonor Serraille
“Tourment Sur Les Iles,” Albert Serra

Cannes Premiere
“Don Juan,” Serge Bozon
“La Nuit du 12,” Dominik Moll
“Chronicle of a Temporary Affair,” Emmanuel Mouret

Midnight Screenings
“Rebel,” Adil Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Un Certain Regard
“More Than Ever,” Emily Atef
“Mediterranean Fever,” Maha Haj
“The Blue Caftan,” Maryam Touzani

Out of Competition
“L’Innocent,” Louis Garrel

Special Screenings
“Mi Pais Imaginario,” Patricio Guzmán
“The Vagabonds,” Doroteya Droumeva
“Riposte Feministe,” Marie Perennes, Simon Depardon
“Restos do Vento,” Tiago Guedes
“Little Nicholas,” Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre

The films of the Official Selection 2022.

Andrea Meyer has written creative treatments for commercial directors, a sex and the movies column for IFC, and a horror movie script for MGM. Her first novel, Room for Love (St. Martin’s Press) is a romantic comedy based on an article she wrote for the New York Post, for which she pretended to look for a roommate as a ploy to meet men. A long-time film and entertainment journalist and former indieWIRE editor, Andrea has interviewed more actors and directors than she can remember. Her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Elle, Glamour, Variety, Interview and the Boston Globe. 



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