The New York Film Festival, now in its 53rd year, has released the final lineup for its main program. Twenty-six films will be screened, only three (or 12%) directed by women. The disappointment doesn’t stop there. All of the highest-profile spots in the lineup — the Opening Night, Closing Night and Centerpiece films — are helmed by men.
“Don’t Blink: Robert Frank” focuses on influential American photographer and documentary filmmaker Robert Frank, while “No Home Movie” zeroes in a subject close to Akerman’s heart: the documentarian’s mother, who fled Poland for Belgium in 1938. (“No Home Movie” will also be screened at the Locarno Film Festival.) “Maggie’s Plan” — the only narrative feature included in the main lineup directed by a woman — stars Greta Gerwig as a woman determined to have a baby. The hopeful mom ends up in a love triangle with a couple of academics played by Julianne Moore and Ethan Hawke.
Female filmmakers accounted for just 10 percent of the festival’s main slate in 2014. The three films directed by women — out of 30 screened — were Alice Rohrwacher’s “The Wonders,” Asia Argento’s “Misunderstood” and Mia-Hansen-Love’s “Eden.”
Variety writes, “The New York Film Festival has become an increasingly important stop for features angling for awards-season attention, lending a patina of prestige to the titles that earn a spot on the competitive, tightly curated main slate of 25 to 30 films.” With the incredibly low number of female-helmed films at NYFF and TIFF (so far), the odds of women directors — or even a single woman director — getting awards buzz this year unfortunately don’t seem all that favorable at this point.