Venice Film Festival is finally getting with the times. After years of programming dominated by men, this year’s main Competition lineup features an encouraging number of women directors. The slate marks a historic high, and not by a slight margin. Of 18 titles set to screen, eight are directed or co-directed by women, or about 44 percent overall. To contextualize the significance of this number, it’s necessary to consider the fest’s dismal past.
Number of Competition titles directed by women at Venice per year:
Set to take place September 2-12, this year marks the 77th edition of the fest. Titles set to compete for the fest’s highest honor, the Golden Lion, include Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland,” a portrait of a woman who loses everything in the Great Recession and begins to live as a van-dwelling nomad, and “The World To Come,” a 19th century-set drama about two neighboring couples in the American East coast.
Other titles set to screen include Susanna Nicchiarelli’s “Miss Marx” and Jasmila Zbanic’s “Quo Vadis, Aida?” The former centers on Eleanor “Tussy” Marx, Karl Marx’s youngest daughter, a feminist and socialist activist, and the latter tells the story of a woman working as a translator for the United Nations’ peacekeeping task force.
In 2018 Venice signed the 5050×2020 Pledge, committing to greater transparency in its selection process and staff, with the goal of eventually bettering gender representation.
Check out all of the women-directed and co-directed films screening in Competition below, and head over to Screen Daily to check out the rest of the fest’s lineup.
Dir. Chloe Zhao
Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bos & Her-Austria-Rom-Neth-Ger-Pol-Fr-Nor)
Dir. Jasmila Zbanic
And Tomorrow The Entire World (Ger-Fr)
Dir. Julia Von Heinz
Never Gonna Snow Again (Pol-Ger)
Dir. Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
Miss Marx (It-Bel)
Dir. Susanna Nicchiarelli
Dir. Nicole Garcia
The World To Come (US)
Dir. Mona Fastvold
Le Sorelle Macaluso (It)
Dir. Emma Dante