A total of zero features directed by women will screen in the Spanish-nationality competition section of the 63rd San Sebastian Film Festival this September. The Spanish nationality lineup for Spain’s most prominent festival includes only two female-helmed films (out of a lineup of 19): Mercedes Moncada’s documentary “Mi querida España” and Paula Oritz’s “La Novia.” Both appear in the Zabaltegi category, described (quite vaguely) by the fest as an “open, heterogeneous section showcasing the biggest and best movies of the year.”
Variety summarizes “Mi querida España” as “a questioning vision of democratic Spain through the interviews of respected journalist Jesus Quintero.” “La Novia” focuses on a deeply unhappy bride-to-be.
There is a tendency to idealize Europe as a more progressive and enlightened enclave, but according to Francine Raveney, the Executive Director of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network, stats on women directors are similarly dismal there as they are here in the US. Approximately ten percent of box-office successes in Europe are directed by women. So the fact that a major European film festival has not one film in a competition category directed by a woman isn’t quite as surprising as you might expect — though it remains just as inexcusable.
Here’s the complete Spanish nationality lineup of the San Sebastian Film Festival as posted by Variety.
The San Sebastian Film Festival will take place this year on September 18-26.