Cannes 2019: Directors’ Fortnight Features Lineup Is Just 17 Percent Women-Directed

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Another day, another disappointing Cannes announcement. The lineup for the 2019 Directors’ Fortnight sidebar has been announced, and of 24 features set to screen, just four are directed by women, amounting to 17 percent, a decline from last year’s 25 percent. As previously revealed, 21 percent of the fest’s Competition program this year, and 14 percent of the features screening in competition in the Critics’ Week slate are women-directed. Cannes committed to the Gender Parity Pledge last year, but the fest’s actual programs leave much to be desired (yet again).

The women-helmed features in the Directors’ Fortnight lineup are “The Orphanage,” “Sick Sick Sick,” “An Easy Girl,” and “Song Without a Name.”

Set in Kabul, Shahrbanoo Sadat’s “The Orphanage” tells the story of Qodrat, a 15-year-old living on the streets. When he’s not selling cinema tickets to Bollywood films on the black market, he’s daydreaming about his favorite films. Qodrat’s life changes overnight when the police bring him to a Soviet orphanage.

Directed by first-time feature director Alice Furtado, “Sick Sick Sick” centers on an introspective teen girl whose life takes an unexpected direction when she bonds with a new classmate who has been expelled from a number of schools.

Rebecca Zlotowski’s “An Easy Girl” takes place in the summertime on the French Riviera, and follows a 16-year-old who is drawn into her 22-year-old cousin’s lifestyle, despite warnings from her concerned best friend.

Set in late ’80s Peru, “Song Without a Name” is Melina León’s portrait of a migrant musician whose newly born baby mysteriously disappears. The drama marks León’s  debut feature.

Now in its 51st edition, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight will run from May 15-25. Head over to ScreenDaily to check out the complete program.