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New York Film Festival: Kelly Reichardt, Agnes Varda Lead Slate With 20% Female Directors

The 29 films in the NYFF’S main slate include lots of movies from Cannes, but only six from female directors


New films from Kelly Reichardt, Agnes Varda, Olivier Assayas and Marco Bellochio will be coming to the 2019 New York Film Festival, Film at Lincoln Center announced on Tuesday.

Among the 29 films, only six female directors are represented: Reichardt, Varda, Celine Sciamma, Mati Diop, Justine Triet and Angela Schanelec. That’s just over 20%, which is better than this year’s competition slates at Cannes (19%) and Venice (10%) — but well below other major festivals like Sundance (46%) and Berlin (40%).

After announcing last week that its opening-night film will be Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” its centerpiece booking will be Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and its closing-night film will be Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” NYFF unveiled the rest of the 29 films that will make up its main slate, including work from 17 different countries.

The films include Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow,” a period piece set in the Pacific Northwest in the early 19th century; Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network,” a drama about Cuban defectors in Miami starring Edgar Ramirez; and Agnes Varda’s final work, “Varda by Agnes.”

The lineup is long on films that premiered in Cannes, including “Atlantics,” “Bacurau,” “Beanpole,” “Fire Will Come,” “Liberte,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Sibyl,” “The Whistlers,” “Young Ahmed,” the Palme d’Or winner “Parasite” and Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory.”

Almodovar also designed the poster for this year’s festival, which can be seen below.

“It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to make films of real ambition anywhere in this world,” NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said in a statement. “Each and every movie in this lineup, big or small, whether it’s made in Italy or Senegal or New York City, is the result of artists behind the camera fighting on multiple fronts to realize a vision and create something new in the world.”

The NYFF lineup:

Opening Night
The Irishman
Dir. Martin Scorsese

Marriage Story
Dir. Noah Baumbach

Closing Night
Motherless Brooklyn
Dir. Edward Norton

Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story
Dir. Mati Diop

Dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles

Dir. Kantemir Balagov

Fire Will Come
Dir. Oliver Laxe

First Cow
Dir. Kelly Reichardt

A Girl Missing
Dir. Koji Fukada

I Was at Home, But…
Dir. Angela Schanelec

Dir. Albert Serra

Martin Eden
Dir. Pietro Marcello

The Moneychanger
Dir. Federico Veiroj

Oh Mercy!
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

Pain and Glory
Dir. Pedro Almodóvar

Dir. Bong Joon-ho

Film Comment Presents
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Dir. Céline Sciamma

Saturday Fiction
Dir. Lou Ye

Dir. Justine Triet

Dir. Nadav Lapid

To the Ends of the Earth
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

The Traitor
Dir. Marco Bellocchio

Varda by Agnès
Dir. Agnès Varda

Vitalina Varela
Dir. Pedro Costa

Wasp Network
Dir. Olivier Assayas

The Whistlers
Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu

The Wild Goose Lake
Dir. Diao Yinan

Young Ahmed
Dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Zombi Child
Dir. Bertrand Bonello

The Almodovar poster:

New York Film Festival poster Pedro Almodovar