Another year, another Venice Film Festival that severely underrepresents women filmmakers. The prestigious fest has unveiled the lineup for its 79th edition, taking place August 31-September 10, and once again, only five titles from women directors have been selected for Competition. Twenty-two films total are screening, and therefore eligible for Venice’s highest honor, the Golden Lion, meaning that women helmed just 23 percent of the slate. That figure was 24 percent in 2021.
Alice Diop, Joanna Hogg, Laura Poitras, Susanna Nicchiarelli, and Rebecca Zlotowski are the women who will be presenting films in Competition. Diop’s “Saint Omer” chronicles a court case concerning a young mother, and the effect it has on a novelist observing the proceedings, while Hogg’s “The Eternal Daughter” sees a middle-aged woman and her elderly mother confronting the ghosts of their past. Poitras documents photographer Nan Goldin’s fight against the Sackler family in the non-fiction “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” and Nicchiarelli tells the story of St. Clare of Assisi in “Chiara.” Finally, Zlotowski’s “Other People’s Children,” which just released its first English-language trailer, is about a 40-year-old woman who grows close to her new boyfriend’s daughter, and begins to wonder if she wants, or is even able to have, children of her own.
Only two feature-length pics from women directors will screen in the 19-film Out of Competition (11 percent), one narrative and one doc. Olivia Wilde’s much-anticipated social thriller “Don’t Worry Darling” was selected along with Benedetta Argentieri’s “The Matchmaker,” a portrait of British jihadist and “ISIS matchmaker” Tooba Gondal.
Two of the nine titles (22 percent) screening in the Horizons Extra category are helmed by women: Carolina Cavalli’s “Amanda” and Soudade Kaadan’s “Nezhou.” The former sees its lonely titular character resorting to gaslighting in order to find friendship, and the latter centers on a teen girl discovering the outside world for the first time when a missile destroys the ceiling of her Damascus home.
Four films from three women filmmakers are among Horizons’ 18-film slate (22 percent). They include Parts I and II of Laura Citarella’s “Trenque Lauquen,” Teona Strugar Mitevska’s tale of redemption and forgiveness, “The Happiest Man in the World,” and the Tizza Covi-co-directed “Vera,” about an upper-class woman seeking an escape from high society.
All of the women-directed features Venice has announced so far are below. Check out the full lineup over at Deadline.
Saint Omer, dir: Alice Diop
The Eternal Daughter, dir: Joanna Hogg
Chiara, dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, dir: Laura Poitras
Other People’s Children, dir: Rebecca Zlotowski
OUT OF COMPETITION
Don’t Worry Darling, dir: Olivia Wilde
The Matchmaker, dir: Benedetta Argentieri
Amanda, dir: Carolina Cavalli
Nezhou, dir: Soudade Kaadan
Trenque Lauquen I, dir: Laura Citarella
Trenque Lauquen II, dir: Laura Citarella
Vera, dirs: Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
The Happiest Man in the World, dir: Teona Strugar Mitevska