After years of criticism for not featuring or celebrating enough women directors, the famed French film festival has decided to make 2015 its “year de la femme.” For the first time since 1987, a film by a woman director — La Tête Haute, a gritty social drama by Emmanuelle Bercot — was chosen to open the festival. It also premiered Mad Max: Fury Road, a post-apocalyptic action movie with a decidedly feminist angle and a leading role for badass Charlize Theron. In 2012, there was not a single woman director in the competition, to the dismay of many critics, and only one woman ever took home the festival’s highest honor, the Palme D’Or (Jane Campion, for her 1993 movie The Piano). This time two French actresses-turned-filmmakers are competing for the highest honor, the Palme D’Or, four other women are competing in the prestigious companion selection Un Certain Regard, and Natalie Portman is presenting her directorial debut, A Tale Of Love And Darkness, outside of the competition. Add to that that Agnes Varda, “the mother of the French New Wave” is finally getting her due with an honorary Palme D’Or, a clear result of the festival’s efforts to bring together an impressive line-up of women in film.
Read the full story at The New York Times.