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Opinion: Is Venice Film Festival The Change Needed For Female Directors?




Venice Film Festival has shown films across a number of 11 days , being ended with a closing ceremony where female directors received the festival’s top prizes.

This of course has been an amazing achievement by the women who received an award but the question rises if this will bring a genuine change in the lack of respect and recognition female directors receive for their work.

The Golden Lion award for best film this year at Venice Film Festival has been received by French filmmaker, Audrey Diwan making her only the sixth female director to take home the prize in seventy years since the festival was first founded.

The second place , The Silver Lion was awarded to female director Jane Campion. Jane Campion was also the first woman to receive the Palme d’Or at Cannes for her 1993 film ,The Piano. This proving the change although it does happen, it happens at a slow rate.


The Venice Festival has definitely been a surprise to the world of film and to the place female directors have in it and I do believe this is a new beginning for women in an industry dominated by men.

Nevertheless history has shown women have to work much harder for them to be recognised in the same way male directors are.

Back in 2018 , Greta Gerwig was nominated for best director at the Academy Awards making her the first woman in eight years to have been nominated as well as being the fifth woman to ever been nominated in that category.

However in 2020 for her second film , Little Women she was recognised only for her skills as a writer when she received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay which to some extent make zero sense.


Difficult to understand how can the judges acknowledge the film as having the best quality writing but not directing.

Additionally Little Women was also nominated for the Best Picture which again , this represents a logic hard to comprehend as to why the Academy Award board did not nominate Greta for Best Director when the film was considered one of the best films of 2019 by them.

Other events which have left people disappointed was of course the year of 2018 and the absence of female directors nominations at the Golden Globes.

This of course resulted in Natalie Portman becoming a meme and trending on social media when she announced in the microphone, ”Here are all the male nominees”


As much as it did create a reaction, this is not a joke, rather a sad reality for female directors as at big awards events in the directors category they remain being left out.

The Venice Film Festival has been a great achievement but , awards shows like The Oscars or The Golden Globes need to start treating the work of female directors the same way they do with their male counterparts.

Only then the often disappointment felt by female directors each year will not be the norm.

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