Female directors might have been left out of the competition at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, but thanks to the Italian fashion house Prada, they are front and center at this week’s Venice Film Festival.
The Venice Days, an independent programming section, opens Thursday with “The Miu Miu Women’s Tales,” a series of events focusing on female directors.
The three-day showcase, which runs on the Lido until Sept. 1, will include the screening of four short films from the directors Zoe Cassavetes, Lucrecia Martel, Giada Colagrande and Massy Tadjedin. Tadjedin’s film “It’s Getting Late” was added to the selection this week.
Miu Miu has also announced that it will continue to support the production of short films by women going forward.
Martel’s film “Muta” is described as a meditation on femininity. It takes place aboard a ship peopled with an elegant crew of beautifully attired females, as might be expected from a film presented by a fashion house. Cassavetes’ film “The Powder Room” is set in London at Claridge’s Hotel and explores a world of female rituals such as primping in the powder room. Colagrande, meanwhile, presents “The Woman Dress,” which is set in an all-female world of glamour and desire.
The project includes conversations with Mira Nair, whose film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” opened in Venice yesterday, and the Danish director Susanne Bier ("Things We Lost in the Fire).
A group conversation will also take place between Italian women in film, including Italian actresses Maya Sansa and Donatella Finocchiaro; the writer Laura Delli Colli; writer-directors Monica Maggioni, Cecilia Mangini and Costanza Quatriglio; and Vania Traxler Protti.
As part of the event, Bob Wilson’s film “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic” and the short film “Meshes of the Afternoon” by Maya Deren will also screen. Venice Days Director Giorgio Gosetti will present the films.
Fashion houses have been playing a more prominent role in film festivals recently, from sponsoring events to restoring films. A number of them, including Chanel and Prada, have produced short films, and Agnes b. and Chopard have financed features.
The Venice Days, which began in 2004, is modeled on the Directors Fortnight of the Cannes Festival and promoted by the associations of Italian film directors and authors.