Mostra del Cinema di Venezia 2013

Last year women had a prominent and rightful role at the Venice Film Festival, of the 52 films shown 21 were, in fact, directed by women and four of them competed for the Golden Lion. “For over a century Cinema has been a very male-dominated environment” stated the festival director Alberto Barbera “Finally people have realised that there is much female creativity even in this field”.

This year, however, only two female directors are in the main competition for the Golden Lion Prize but a number of female directors have space in other sections of the festival. Noteworthy is the projectWomen’s Tales presented by the fashion label MIU MIU in collaboration with the independent event Venice Days (Giornata degli Autori) for the second year in a row.


There are two films directed by women in the official competition. One of them isVia Castellana Bandiera by the Italian director Emma Dante. The film is an adaptation of Dante’s first novel of the same name written together together with Giorgio Vasta and Licia Eminenti. In Via Castellana Bandiera Dante also plays the part of Rosa, a woman that returns from Rome to Palermo, her native town, and rediscovers the anger that made her move away in the first place. The film, defined as a Sicilian western, is a story about Sicily, love, women, families with LGBT thematics.

Emma Dante is a very eclectic woman, she is a stage actor, a theatre director, a dramatist and a writer.

Via Castellana Bandiera is her début feature.

The other film competing for the Golden Lion is Night Movesby the American director Kelly Reichardt.Night Moves is the story of three radical environmentalists (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard) who are planning to blow up a hydroelectric dam. Kelly Reichardt is one of the most respected American Independent filmmakers. She made her debut in 1994 with the film River of Grassand directed 8 films since then.

It is also important to underline that two women wrote the script for two of the films in the competition. Caroline Deruas-Garrel wrote the script for Philippe Garrel’sLa Jalousie while Marie Jose Sanselme the one of Amos Gitai’sAna Arabia. In addition to the female scriptwriter, Licia Eminenti, forVia Castellana Bandiera.


2 of the 10 films in the out –of-competition section have been directed by women. These include:

Anna Eborn’s documentaryPine Ridge. Eborn is a Swedish director and writer,Pined Ridge is her first feature length documentary film and it will have its world première at Venice.

Kitty Green’sUkraina Ne Bordel (Ukraine is not a Brothel)also a documentary. The film reveals the truth behind Ukraine’s topless feminist sensation Femen. Green is an Australian director with Ukrainian origins, who spent four years In Ukraine filming the protests of Femen with her reflex camera.

It is a film that speaks volumes about the brutal strength of patriarchal culture throughout the Eastern bloc.” Explains Green.


This section is dedicated of the new trends in world cinema and 4 of its 10 films are directed by women. These include:

The documentary Quello che Resta by Valeria Allievi. Allievi is a director, author and independent producer. She started working in the fashion field and in television. In 2009 she won the Genziana d’Oro at the Trento Film Festival for her filmKarl. She also co-directedUn menestel, an Italian-French production that premièred at the Trento film Festival in 2010.

Je M’appelle Hmmm by Agnès B. Agnès is a French fashion designer, she is known for her self-named brand, which includes fashion and film interests. Je M’appelle Hmmmis the début feature of the fashion designer but she already worked in the field, founding films of Harmony Korine, Gaspar Noè and Claire Denis as well as the underwriting of numerous film festivals.

Cécile Bicler’s short filmToutes les Belles Choses. Bicler comes from Noyon, northen France. Before Toutes les Belles Choses she co-directed two other short films with Hervé Coqueret, a collegue from her art school in Nantes.

Gia Coppola’sPalo Alto. Gia Coppola is the niece of Sofia and the granddaughter of Francis Ford.Palo Altois the adaptation of James Franco’s book of the same name and her first feature film. She studied photography in New York.


This section offers workshop to support the post-production of films from Africa. Of the 4 films shown in this section one is directed by a woman,Challatt Tunes by the Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania. Hania studied cinema in Tunisia and France and she directed several short films. Her last documentary filmImams Go to School premièred at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2010. 


2 of the films screened in this autonomous section are directed by women. These include:

Anna Odel’s Åttraffen (the Reunion). Odell is a Swedish artist and this is her début film.

Vivian Qu’sShuiyn Jie (Trap Street). Vivian Que is a director, writer and producer. Since 2007 she has produced three films andTrap Street is her first work as director.


5 of the 10 films in this section have a female director. Noteworthy is MIU MIU’s projectWomen’s Tales,short films that Miuccia Prada commissioned from international female directors each of whom explored various aspects of the feminine experience. This year two directors are participating to the project.

Ava DuVernay with her workThe Door. Ava DuVernay was the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival, for her second feature, Middle of Nowhere, in 2012.

Hiam Abbass is also participating with her filmLe Donne della Vucciria. Hiam Abbas, is a Palestinian actress and film director. She acted in several films and directed two shorts. In 2012, she was named as a member of the Jury for the Main Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, the same year she directed her first feature-lenght film: The Inheritance.

Other films directed by women in this section include:

J. Jackie Baier’sJulia. Baier is a photographer and director. She worked in documentaries and television. In 1997 she had a sex change and became officially a woman. Julia is her second feature-length documentary; it is the story of a young Lithuanian transsexual walking the streets of Berlin.

Cherien Dabis’May in the Summer. Dabis is a Palestinian American director, producer, and screenwriter. Her first short film,Make a Wish, premièred at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. She worked in television for the series The L Word. Her first feature, Amreeka, made its début at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Deniz Akçai Katiksiz’s Koksuz (Nobody’s home). Katiksiz is a turkish film-maker and writer, she is married to the director Ahmet Katıksız. Nobody’s home already competed at the Istanbul Film Festival where it won the Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Award.

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