For years, the Cannes Film Fest has been criticized for its systemic underrepresentation of female directors.
In 2015, the event stirred controversy for an unwritten policy that expects/requires women to wear high heels on the red carpet.
This year, the 70th anniversary festival poster, which shows an exuberant Claudia Cardinale dancing, sparked controversy when fans online noted that the picture has been retouched to make her appear slimmer.
But 12 titles among the 54 screening in the official lineup, which includes competition and out-of-competition titles, short films, special screenings and the Un Certain Regard sidebar, still means that most films this year were directed by men.
Female directors amount to 22.2 percent; male directors, 77.8 percent.
MAIN COMPETITION: 3 Femmes (out of 19 Directors)
Of the 19 films in the main competition, only three are directed by women:
Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled;
Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here;
Radiance from Naomi Kawase.
That ratio, about 15 percent, is on par with last year’s Cannes lineup, which included Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Toni Erdmann from Maren Ade and Nicole Garcia’s From the Land of the Moon.
UN CERTAIN REGARD: 4 Femmes
The Un Certain Regard sidebar has four female-directed projects, amounting to one fourth of the program of 16 titles.
The Desert Bride from directors Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato;
After the War from Annarita Zambrano;
Jeune Femme from Leonor Serraille;
Western from German filmmaker Valeska Grisebach.
Visages, Villages, the latest documentary from New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda, gets a special screening in Cannes.
Vanessa Redgrave, the Director
Sea Sorrow is the directorial debut of Oscar-winning actress and multiple Cannes winner Vanessa Redgrave, who is 80.