Directors’ Fortnight 2022 Lineup

Melvil Poupaud, Camille Leban Martins, and Léa Seydoux in Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning (2022)

Mia Hansen-Løve, Anna Rose Holmer and Saela Davis, and Alice Winocour are among the eleven women who have directed or codirected films selected for the fifty-fourth Directors’ Fortnight, the independent and noncompetitive sidebar running parallel to the Cannes Film Festival. Critic Jessica Kiang can’t help but see the Fortnight casting “a bit of Gallic side-eye” over at Cannes, which has so far invited only three films directed by women to compete for the Palme d’Or.

Presenting the Fortnight lineup this morning, outgoing artistic director Paolo Moretti mentioned that, along with the shorts and medium-length films, he will soon add one more feature from Asia, which will bring the total to twenty-four. This year’s edition will open on May 18 with Pietro Marcello’s Scarlet, a magical realist tale of a lonely young girl who dreams of sailing away from her village in Normandy, and close on May 27 with Nicolas Pariser’s The Green Perfume, a murder mystery starring Sandrine Kiberlain and Vincent Lacoste. The story begins at the Comédie-Française, where a poisoned actor drops dead in front of a stunned live audience.

Léa Seydoux, who will appear in David Cronenberg’s Cannes competition entry Crimes of the Future, also stars in Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning. She plays a single mother raising an eight-year-old daughter in their tiny Parisian apartment while caring for her ailing father—and striking up a passionate affair with an old friend.

Anna Rose Holmer has teamed up with Saela Davis, who cowrote and edited Holmer’s The Fits (2015), to codirect God’s Creatures. Emily Watson plays a mother who lies to protect her son (Paul Mescal), and the consequences wreak havoc on the lives of her family and the community in her Irish fishing village. In Alice Winocour’s Paris Memories, Virginie Efira (Benedetta) plays a survivor of a terrorist attack who searches the city for clues that might lead her to the man who saved her life.

Award-winning writer Annie Ernaux is probably best known outside of France for L’événement, the book published in 2001 in English as Happening, a wrenching chronicle of seeking an abortion in 1963 at the age of twenty-three. Audrey Diwan’s adaptation won the Golden Lion in Venice last year and will open New Directors/New Films in New York tomorrow. Working with her son David Ernaux-Briot, Ernaux has codirected a memoir of a different sort, the documentary The Super 8 Years.

Léa Mysius, the director of Ava (2017) and the cowriter—with Céline Sciamma and Jacques Audiard—of Paris, 13th District, will present her second feature, The Five Devils. Adèle Exarchopoulos and newcomer Sally Dramé star in the story of an odd little girl who can reproduce any scent she likes. Chilean director Manuela Martelli’s first feature, 1976, coproduced by Dominga Sotomayor, presents a dilemma to a housewife whose uneventful life is interrupted when a priest asks her to take in a young revolutionary.

Lebanese artist Ali Cherri is currently presenting a series of mixed media installations at the National Gallery in London, and a new work, The Toilet of Venus (The Rokeby Venus), after Velázquez, will be on view in Venice when the Biennale opens on Saturday. In The Dam, Cherri’s first feature, a brickyard worker in Sudan is secretly building something mysterious in the desert.

Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, known for their work at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab (Leviathan, Caniba), use the latest medical imaging technology to explore the human body in De Humani Corporis Fabrica. João Pedro Rodrigues (To Die Like a Man, The Ornithologist) promises to tell an erotic and political tale in Will-o’-the-Wisp, a musical in which a young prince happens upon a fire station where his perception of reality is upended.

Enys Men, which is set on an uninhabited island off the Cornish coast in 1973 and shot on 16 mm, is Mark Jenkin’s anticipated follow-up to Bait (2019). Mary Woodvine plays a wildlife volunteer who discovers a rare flower that launches a metaphysical journey. And as a special screening, the Fortnight will present Alex Garland’s Men, starring Jesse Buckley as a woman trying to put her life back together in the aftermath of a personal tragedy. But someone or something seems to be stalking her.

During the opening ceremony, the French Directors Guild, which founded the Fortnight in 1969 in the wake of the upheaval of May 1968, will present its Carrosse d’or, a sort of lifetime achievement award, to Kelly Reichardt, who is going to have quite a year. Her new film, Showing Up, starring Michelle Williams, will premiere in competition in Cannes, and in August, she will receive an honorary Golden Leopard in Locarno.

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