WEEK IN WOMEN: Mati Diop on Being Cannes Film Fest’s First Black Female Director – Brandy McDonnell reports

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Mati Diop found out she is the first black female director to be accepted into the competition lineup in the 72-year history of France’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival in rather unceremonious fashion. She read it online.

“I discovered it myself, reading the article,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Ford. “It was a rather odd experience for me because I approached it almost as somebody learning this, as an outsider. What I represent exceeds me and does not belong to me.”

As previously reported, Diop is one of four female directors in the festival’s 21-film lineup, still a low percentage but an improvement from recent years. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.