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Cannes 2021 wraps up with an historic Palme d’Or to Julia Ducournau

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

Epic Palme d'or to Julia Ducournau at the post pandemic Festival de Cannes


The 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which presented a remarkable line-up with no less than 24 films competing for the coveted golden palm, set a milestone for the historic triumph of Titane directed by unapologetic Julia Ducournau in her sophomore attempt. 28 years after Jane Campion's ex-aequo received the first Palme d'Or to a female director, the Jury presided by Spike Lee, agreed to crown this punk, gory fantasy. Again a genre film scooping the big prize and again, the talented Ducournau getting a prize in Cannes after her debut, RAW (Grave), received the FIPRESCI Award conferred by a jury of the International Federation of Film Critics for a film at either the Directors' Fortnight or International Critics' Week running parallel to the Cannes Film Festival.

Ducournau finished her film studies at La Femis in 2008 and since then she has shocked and mesmerized with her originality and raw depiction of flesh and bodies. Some critics say she's David Cronenberg's  natural heir but she is one of a kind.

Stone and Ducournau by Stephane Cardinale - CorbisGetty Images
Stone and Ducournau by Stephane Cardinale - CorbisGetty Images

Besides the Golden Palm, the festival acknowledged more female talent. The Caméra d'Or to a First-Time Filmmaker, went to Murina directed by Croatian Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic and Un Certain Regard did celebrate female films by giving the first prize to Russian film Unclenching the Fists (Razzhimaya Kulaki) directed by Kira Kovalenko and also the Ensemble Prize to the French film Good Mother (Bonne Mère) directed by Hafsia Herzi. The Courage Prize went to La Civil by Romanian Teodora Ana Mihai and the Special Jury Mention to Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de Fuego) directed by  Salvadoran-MexicanTatiana Huezo.

We proudly congratulate EWA members Kat Goossens and Nadia Trevisan with their films at Critic's Week; Hanna Slak and Vildan Erçen selected at L' Atelier ; Maite Woköck, Marica Stocchi, Katarina Tomková  and Sarah Born at Producers on the Move and Nathalie Marchak  shortlisted at the Wscripted Cannes inaugural Screenplay .

For EWA Network this unusual festival has been the first time we could meet up with colleagues, members and friends after Berlinale 2020. We spent less time in Cannes than in previous years but we used our time to support the ANTI-RACISM TASK FORCE FOR EUROPEAN FILM presentation and to moderate the panel "From hidden talent to global sensation: How to support rising talent on an international scale ⁠"  organised alongside Marché du Film, a partnership initiated last year.

We attended the presentation of the fund NEW DAWN,  a new international fund for groups of filmmakers that have traditionally found it hard to get financing for their projects. The project was initiated by the Swedish Film Institute and the Netherlands Film Fund and now backed by 8 international film funds.

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What's more, we took part in one of the main events of the Russian pavilion, the round table ‘Women’s Cinema in Russia’, organized by ROSKINO in partnership with EWA Network

Tamara Tatishvili (EWA Network), moderator of the event, said on opening the panel:

‘Sometimes, especially outside Western Europe, people think that the problem of inequality is made up. However, female professionals face real difficulties in their work, for example, in obtaining funds for a project. The content creation process needs to be improved in line with the ideas of equity and accessibility. Not only in Russia, but in other countries as well, and fortunately, we can make this progress.’

Conference in the Russian pavilion

And Cannes is not Cannes without the traditional EWA Network's cocktail, organised at the International Village by courtesy of the Romanian Pavilion.

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