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Cannes 2017: Sofia Coppola Makes History as the Second Female Filmmaker to Win Best Director

Sofia Coppola just made history at the Cannes Film Festival.

Sofia Coppola The Beguiled Photocall - 70th Cannes Film Festival, France - 24 May 2017US director Sofia Coppola poses during the photocall for 'The Beguiled' during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 24 May 2017. The movie is presented in the Official Competition of the festival which runs from 17 to 28 May.

Sofia Coppola

WARNAND/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival has come to an end in history-making fashion. When Jury President Pedro Almodóvar announced the Best Director prize to “The Beguiled” helmer Sofia Coppola, she became the second female director in the festival’s 70-year history to claim the prize. The last woman to win Best Director was Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva in 1961 for “The Chronicle of Flaming Years.”

READ MORE: 2017 Cannes Winners: ‘The Square’ Wins the Palme D’or, Sofia Coppola and Joaquin Phoenix Also Honored

Coppola earned strong reviews for “The Beguiled,” a feminist adaptation of the Clint Eastwood-starring 1971 film of the same name. Nicole Kidman, who won the 70th Anniversary Prize earlier today, plays the headmistress of a secluded school for girls in 1864 Virginia. Their lifestyle is disrupted by the discovery of a wounded Union Army solider. Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst also star.

In his A- review, IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich hailed the movie as “the mustiest and most conventionally entertaining film of Coppola’s brilliant career.” It was later named one of IndieWire’s 10 best movies of Cannes 2017.

The last time Coppola competed for the Palme was in 2006 with “Marie Antoinette.” She was famously booed for the period drama, which makes her history-making victory today all the more celebratory. In her pre-written speech (she was not on hand to accept the award), the director thanked Jane Campion for “being a role model and supporting women filmmakers.” Campion remains the only female director to win the Palme.

Focus Features will release “The Beguiled” in select theaters June 23.

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Comments

AaronJ

So awesome. Sofia’s films are splendid and unique. Can’t wait to see this one.

    B.Murphy-Bridge

    Bravo Sofia!! Startling that in SEVENTY YEARS of Cannes Film Festivals only 2 female Directors have received an award. Obscene actually .

Paul

Not trying to be sexist, I respect women and I thoroughly enjoy Sofia Coppola’s work, but how is being the second female winner “making history?” Congrats all around, but I wouldn’t consider it historical, but rather triumphant.

    Je Vizzusi

    Its historic and monumental movie history as she and any Female Director struggles to convince the male Dominated Hollywood Film Industry that they are viable Directors.

      Reece

      good point!

      Paul

      good point!

Melvan Swanson

Paul, why quibble about this sort of thing? Let Coppola enjoy her win. Let it go.

C37

You don’t make history by being second at anything.

    Corey

    CKC

Corey

Yeah, who remembers the second world war? Are people happier if she’s the first American woman to win?

ManFromAnotherPlace

Don Siegel directed 1971 “The beguiled”, not Eastwood.

    RMcFCa

    Clearly that’s why it stated Clint Eastwood “starring” role and NOT directing

C

yeah but Yuliya Solntseva is actually good

Busra

She is not a female director. She is a director.

Star Man

FYI: You make “History” by doing it first… nobody remembers who did something second… lol

Je Vizzusi

Sexism in Hollywood is hard to overcome because its a mindset, a generational crazed attitude that women can’t Direct major Feature Films. The tide is turning slowly. Still less than a single percent of all union and non union Female Directors get any opportunity to Direct Studio Pictures. I’m so happy for Sofia as I sit here with a glass of her Coppola sparkling Chablis.. what will it take to equalize the Director’s playing field?

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