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This Year’s Cannes Directors Skew Overwhelmingly White and Male

This Year's Cannes Directors Skew Overwhelmingly White and Male

Announced early this morning, the 2016 Cannes Film Festival promises a bevy of new talents (7 of the films announced today are actually first films from their respective directors) and fresh new features to excite film fans of all stripes. But despite a wealth of new projects on the lauded festival’s slate, there is one thing missing: Equality. This year’s festival still skews overwhelmingly towards white male directors, and the competition slate does not include one female director of color. 

The robust competition slate, which includes twenty films, only includes three from female directors – Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey,” Nicole Garcia’s “From the Land of the Moon” and Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdman” – making up just 15 percent of the group. Initially, this seems like a step up, as 2015’s competition slate only included two films by women. But look a bit further back, and even 2012 featured four from female directors.

READ MORE: 2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup, Including New Films From Steven Spielberg, Jodie Foster and Many More

Elsewhere, female filmmakers didn’t fare much better. There are only four films from women in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, while none appear in the Midnight section (other titles may be added later, and we certainly hope they include more women). On the out of competition slate, there’s just one film from a woman, Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster.”

In a simple and startling set of graphs drawn up and posted on Twitter by Peter Yeung, the divide between the genders is made even more clear (and perhaps still harder to swallow). Check it out:

Still, there may be some hope, as The Hollywood Reporter reminds us that “over in Cannes’ Student Shorts section this year, more than half the films have been directed by women.”

The Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22.

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Check out the trailer for one of Cannes director Andrea Arnold’s previous (and so good!) efforts, “Fish Tank,” below:


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