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Heavyweight Cannes Lineup Ties Record for Female Directors in Competition

Four female filmmakers are represented in the main competition, along with such past Cannes directors as Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach, Xavier Dolan, the Dardenne brothers and Terrence Malick


Eleven months after signing a pledge to help increase the number of films by female directors at international festivals, the Cannes Film Festival has unveiled a lineup that features four films directed by women in the main competition, tying but not breaking the record set in 2011.

The four are Mati Diop’s “Atlantique,” Jessica Hausner’s “Little Joe,” Celine Schiamma’s “Portrait of a Young Lady on Fire” and Justine Triet’s “Sibyl.” An additional nine female directors are included in other sections of the festival.

Prior to this year, only 82 women have been included in the official competition at Cannes, compared to more than 1,600 men.

The lineup is filled with heavyweight directors whose films have been at Cannes in the past: Pedro Almodovar (“Pain and Glory,” which has already opened in Spain), the Dardenne brothers (“Young Ahmed”), Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”), Ken Loach (“Sorry We Missed You”), Xavier Dolan (“Matthias & Maxime”) and, in one of the biggest gets for the festival, Terrence Malick, who has finished his long-awaited World War II-era film “A Hidden Life” and will return to the festival where he won the Palme d’Or with “The Tree of Life” in 2011.

The lineup gives the annual event one of its most substantial collections of celebrated international auteurs in years — though is it conspicuously missing Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which festival director Thierry Fremaux said is not yet ready to be screened. James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” another film widely touted as a likely Cannes entry, is also not ready, according to Fremaux.

Other films in the main competition include Marco Bellocchio’s “Le Traitre,” Arnaud Desplechin’s “Oh, Mercy,” Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ “Bacurau,” Corneliu Porumboiu’s “The Whistler” and Ira Sachs’ “Frankie.”

Films screening out of competition will include the Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” Claude Lelouch’s “The Best Years of a Life,” Asif Kapadia’s documentary “Diego Maradona” and two episodes of Nicolas Winding Refn’s upcoming television series “Too Old to Die Young – North of Hollywood, West of Hell.”

Additional films will be added to the official selection before the festival begins on May 14.

The official Cannes lineup:

“The Dead Don’t Die,” Jim Jarmusch (opening night)
“Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodovar
“The Traitor,” Marco Bellocchio
“Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho
“Young Ahmed,” Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne
“Oh, Mercy!,” Arnaud Desplechin
“The Wild Goose Lake,” Diao Yinan
“Atlantics,” Mati Diop
“Matthias and Maxime,” Xavier Dolan
“Little Joe,” Jessica Hausner
“Sorry We Missed You,” Ken Loach
“Les Miserables,” Ladj Ly
“A Hidden Life,” Terrence Malick
“Bacurau,” Kleber Mendonca Filho & Juliano Dornelles
“The Whistlers,” Corneliu Porumboiu
“Frankie,” Ira Sachs
“Portrait of a Young Lady on Fire,” Celine Sciamma
“It Must Be Heaven,” Elia Suleiman
“Sibyl,” Justine Triet

“La Belle Epoque,” Nicolas Bedos
“Rocketman,” Dexter Fletcher
“Diego Maradona,” Asif Kapadia
“The Best Years of a Life,” Claude Lelouch
“Too Old to Die Young – North of Hollywood, West of Hell,” Nicolas Winding Refn

“The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil” Lee Won-Tae

“For Sama,” Waad Al Kateab & Edward Watts
“Share,” Pippa Bianco
“Entre Vivant et le Savior,” Alain Cavalier
“Tommaso,” Abel Ferrara
“Family Romance, LLC,” Werner Herzog
“Que Sea Ley,” Juan Solanas

“The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao,” Karim Ainouz
“Evge,” Nariman Aliev
“Dylda” (“Beanpole”), Kantemir Balagov
“The Swallows of Kabul,” Zabou Brightman & Elea Gobbe-Mevellec
“A Brother’s Love,” Monia Chokri
“The Climb,” Michael Covino
“Joan of Arc,” Bruno Dumont
“Chambre 212,” Christophe Honore
“O Que Arde” (“A Sun That Never Sets”), Oliver Laxe
“Port Authority,” Danielle Lessovitz
“Papicha,” Mounia Meddour
“Zhou Ren Mi Mi,” Midi Z
“Liberte” (“Freedom”), Albert Serra
“Bull,” Annie Silverstein
“Adam,” Maryam Touzani
“Summer of Changsha,” Zu Feng