For the first time in almost 30 years, the Cannes Film Festival will be opening with a female director. The lucky winner is Emmanuelle Bercot’s latest film “La Tête Haute” starring Catherine Deneuve. This unusual choice for the festival which usually chooses to open with A-list celebrity films that are sure to be a huge success such as, “The Great Gatsby” and “Grace of Monaco” has not gone unnoticed.
The film tells the story of a troubled juvenile delinquent, Maloney, which tracks his upbringing while a judge and a social worker try and save him from his own mistakes.
This, however, is not Bercot’s first time at the rodeo. She first appeared at the Cannes film festival back in 1997, with her short film, “Les Vacances,” that received the Jury prize. She also co-wrote the script for “Pollisse” (Maïwenn), which also won the Jury prize in 2011.
Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s director spoke about the change, stating; “It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving. Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focuses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.”
The last time the festival kicked off with a film lead by a female director was back in 1987 when they opened with Diane Kurys’ “A Man in Love”.
Charlie Harwood, a First year Midwifery student, states; “It’s completely archaic that a prominent film festival has not opened with a female director in almost 30 years. We live in a modern society that is still not adept it seems at giving women equality.”
The film will premiere at Cannes on May 13. The festival itself runs May 13-24.