10 Female Directors Who Could Have Won At Cannes

Sofia Coppola’s Best Director win at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival not only put a huge pin in the map of film history, it also marked an extremely popular win for one of the world’s most beloved filmmakers. I skipped through the pages of the history of Cannes to illuminate 10 other talented female directors who could so easily have been awarded the Best Director prize in competition at Cannes. The following 10 examples of excellence includes 2 winners from this year festival, 2 other participants, as well as 2 members of that very jury. Small world.


Lynne RamsayWe Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
(Nicolas Winding Refn won for Drive)


Jane CampionThe Piano (1993)
(Mike Leigh won for Naked)
The Piano was awarded Best Actress for Holly Hunter and shared the Palme d’Or with Farewell My Concubine


Agnès JaouiComme une image / Look at Me (2004)
(Tony Gatlif won for Exiles)
Look at Me was awarded Best Screenplay for Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri


Gillian ArmstrongMy Brilliant Career (1979)
(Terrence Malick won for Days of Heaven)


Maren AdeToni Erdmann (2016)
(Cristian Mungiu for Graduation and Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper tied)
Toni Erdmann won the FIPRESCI Prize for Maren Ade


Alice RohrwacherLe meraviglie / The Wonders (2014)
(Bennett Miller won for Foxcatcher)
The Wonders was awarded the Grand Prize of the Jury for Alice Rohrwacher


Agnès VardaCléo de 5 à 7 / Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
(No Directing prize awarded this year)


Naomi KawaseMogari no mori / The Mourning Forest (2007)
(Julian Schnabel won for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
The Mourning Forest was awarded the Grand Prize of the Jury for Naomi Kawase


Margarethe von TrottaRosa Luxemburg (1986)
(Martin Scorsese won for After Hours)
Rosa Luxemburg was awarded Best Actress for Barbara Sukowa


Sofia CoppolaMarie Antoinette (2006)
(Alejandro González Iñárritu won for Babel)
Marie Antoinette won a Cinema Prize of the French National Education System for Sofia Coppola and the Palm Dog for Mops


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