Cannes Film Festival 2019 line-up announced with only four female directors in main category

Ken Loach and Pedro Almodovar are also part of the selection

Clémence Michallon
New York
Thursday 18 April 2019 17:28
Thierry Fremaux and Pierre Lescure attend the 72th Cannes Film Festival Official Selection Presentation At UGC Normandie In Paris on 18 April, 2019 in Paris, France.
Thierry Fremaux and Pierre Lescure attend the 72th Cannes Film Festival Official Selection Presentation At UGC Normandie In Paris on 18 April, 2019 in Paris, France.

The 2019 Cannes Film Festival has announced its line-up, featuring only four female directors in its 19-strong selection.

Jessica Hausner, one of the four women nominated in the main category, is in the running for Little Joe.

Mati Diop is in the running for the Palme d'Or for Atlantiques, Celine Schiamma for Portrait of a Young Lady on Fire, and Justine Triet for Sibyl.

The last time four women were also nominated at Cannes was in 2011, when that number set a record for the festival. Last year, organisers pledged to raise the prominence of female filmmakers at festivals.

Three female directors were selected for the main category last year, as was the case in 2017 and 2016.

A total of 13 women have been included across all sections of the official selection this year — although male artists still dominate.

Ken Loach, Pedro Almodovar, the Dardenne Brothers, Jim Jarmusch, Terrence Malick and Xavier Dolan have all been nominated in the main category.

All have previously won accolades at the French Riviera festival.

The 2019 Cannes Film Festival will take place between 14 and 25 May.

Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die, a zombie comedy starring Adam Driver, Bill Murray and Chloe Sevigny as police officers protecting a small town, will open the festival on a starry and surreal note.

JMalick is returning after Tree of Life won the Palme d'Or in 2011 with the long-awaited A Hidden Life, about an Austrian anti-Nazi conscientious objector who was executed in 1943. Memphis-born Ira Sachs will present Frankie starring Isabelle Huppert.

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There was dismay that Quentin Tarantino missed out from being included with the highly anticipated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. Cannes Artistic Director Thierry Fremaux lamented to critics during the press conference that the movie was still in editing — explaining that Tarantino's insistence on using laborious 35mm will delay its completion.

Spanish director Almodovar will be back on the festival's red carpeted steps with the new film Pain and Glory — a self-referential movie about an aging filmmaker played by Antonio Banderas, alongside longtime muse Penelope Cruz. It's been compared to Italian filmmaker Fellini's masterpiece.

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Oscar-winning director Alejandro Inarritu will be jury president. Jury members have not yet been announced.

The Elton John biopic Rocketman, directed by Dexter Fletcher, will be screened out of competition.

Additional reporting by agencies

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