Cannes Film Festival 2024: Yes, Women Cannes – Nikki Fowler reports

This year, the Cannes Film Festival spotlighted a rich diversity within its Official Selection Jury, including prominent women like Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon) and the Jury President, Oscar-winning director Greta Gerwig (Barbie). The festival celebrated the achievements of many female filmmakers and actresses, who not only appeared on screens in the South of France but also took home prestigious awards. The festival was a powerful celebration of women’s contributions to cinema, setting a high standard for future events.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: New Proof of Concept Accelerator Program is accepting applications – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Emmy Award nominee Coco Francini, along with Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, have launched the Proof of Concept Accelerator Program, which is now taking applications for 2024. Supported by Netflix, the program’s goal is to identify the next generation of filmmaking talent whose stories promote the perspectives of women, transgender and nonbinary people. Proof of Concept is designed to challenge the three most significant barriers these directors face as they navigate the industry: funding, mentorship and exposure. As many as eight filmmakers will be selected for the program’s inaugural cohort. Each of these filmmakers will receive $50,000 in funding to create a short film that can serve as “proof of concept” for a feature film or television series.

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THE NEW BOY – Review by Nadine Whitney

Any film by indigenous Australian director Warwick Thornton is vital to understanding aboriginal culture. His WWII-set drama The New Boy, features Cate Blanchett as a nun operating an outback orphanage. We witness a clash of cultures where the dominant white Australian belief system erodes the specificity of aboriginal culture. The central tension in the film is faith and spirituality where even those who believe they are acting in the best interests of indigenous people participate in an arrogant paternalism which denies the power of one of the oldest cultures on earth.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Bassett, Blanchett and Curtis honored at Santa Barbara Film Fest – Brandy McDonnell reports

Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett and Jamie Lee Curtis will be honored with tributes at the 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Bassett will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Montecito Award, given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film. With her powerhouse supporting turn as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, she became the first performer to earn an Golden Globe acting nomination for a film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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TAR – Review by Susan Granger

Cate Blanchett delivers a powerhouse performance as an acclaimed concert conductor/composer in Todd Fields’ revelatory Tar. Our first glimpse of Lydia Tar (Blanchett) is a tall, slim, confident woman, stylishly dressed in a black suit and crisp white shirt, luxuriating in her celebrity while preparing to take the stage in Manhattan for a New Yorker talk with writer Adam Gropnik (as himself).

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THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL – Review by Rachel West

Paul Feig’s The School For Good And Evil may not reinvent the old fairy tale spinning wheel, but there is enough here to keep viewers – especially tweens – engaged and entertained thanks to a strong take on female friendship. Aside from themes of friendship, the underlying current of prejudice in the storyline is a good lesson for younger audience members who get a first-hand glimpse at what it means to judge a book by its cover.

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Ten Female Performances to Watch from NYFF 2022 – Liz Whittemore reports

I always begin my annual list with a caveat. My thoughts are based solely on the films I actually saw at the festival. I’ve heard the buzz surrounding Danielle Deadwyler’s performance in Till. It was unanimous among my fellow journalists that this was a star-making turn. I cannot wait to see it for myself. Until then, here are ten female performances that I cannot shake from the 17 films I saw.

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TÁR – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Todd Field’s captivating TÁR opens with real “New Yorker” writer Adam Gopnik in an extended Manhattan stage interview with the fictional Lydia Tár. This establishes her career highlights as well as her emphatically egotistical persona, anticipating what follows in Lydia’s personal and professional life as the first conductor for the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic preparing to record Mahler’s fifth symphony.

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TÁR – Review by T.J. Callahan

Cate Blanchett IS Lydia Tár. The Oscar winning actress gives a masterclass interpretation of a masterclass musician. A devious bully that beats to her own metronome. Blanchett, who switches from English to German flawlessly, not only learned to play several instruments for the role, but she did her own conducting, twirling the orchestra baton like a musical majorette. Blanchett is better than the movie, though.

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Telluride Film Fest 2022: A Woman’s Wrap – Diane Carson reports

Over Labor Day weekend, the 49th Telluride Film Festival presented thought-provoking films to its full complement of attendees, a nice rebound from the all-mask 2021 event. As always, no one could come close to seeing all the enticing films on offer, so tough choices and constant second guessing rules. This year women directed and dominated exceptionally strong selections that tell stories of quite different time periods and subjects. Intelligently and insightfully observing internal and external struggles, revealing the specificity of contemporary and historical pressures (so remarkably relevant today), the fest’s films reached out and inspired as they informed. We are, indeed, a global community.

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