Yesterday we reported that the main jury of this year’s Venice Film Festival will be comprised of six men and three women (Elizabeth Banks, Diane Kruger and Lynne Ramsay). The official lineup for the 72nd iteration of the festival was announced today, and if you were disappointed by the fact that women are outnumbered two-to-one on the jury responsible for selecting the fest’s highest honors, you’ll be further irritated/incensed/both by the news that the directors competing for said honors are also overwhelmingly male. Out of the 21 films in the competition section, only two are directed by women: famed performance artist Laurie Anderson’s “Heart Of A Dog” and Sue Brooks’ “Looking For Grace.” “Heart Of A Dog” is based in part on Anderson’s own dog, while “Looking For Grace” follows a couple searching for their daughter, who steals her family’s savings and runs away to see her favorite band in concert.
The Horizons section, associated with the most cutting-edge films the festival has to offer, includes 18 features, three of which are helmed by women: Yaelle Kayam’s “Mountain,” Hadar Morag’s “Lama Azavtani” (“Why Hast Though Forsaken Me”) and Anita Rocha Da Silveira’s “Mate-Me Por Favor.”
Amy Berg is the only female filmmaker being screened in the Out of Competition category, which consists of sixteen titles total. Berg’s Janis Joplin doc, simply titled “Janis,” will make its world premiere in Venice. The film will eventually air on PBS as part of the American Masters series.
Seventeen percent of Venice’s main lineup in 2014 were directed by women. The numbers for this year’s competition amount to just under 10 percent. Last year, we wrote that the 17 percent statistic “doesn’t give us much faith that Venice is interested in a diversity of vision this year.” What are we to think in 2015 — one year later and seven percent less?
Here are the female-directed films in the main programs at Venice Film Festival this year (adapted from a list of the complete lineup from Deadline).
Heart Of A Dog, dir: Laurie Anderson
Looking For Grace, dir: Sue Brooks
OUT OF COMPETITION
Janis, dir: Amy Berg (documentary)
Mountain, dir: Yaelle Kayam
Lama Azavtani (Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me), dir: Hadar Morag
Mate-Me Por Favor, dir: Anita Rocha Da Silveira