NYFF 2023: Female-Focused Wrap – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

Women directors held their own at this year’s New York Film Festival, with impressive films in each of the fest’s coveted programs, from the Main Slate to Revivals. We’ll dip into each of these categories, singling out some of the lesser-known titles, in a women-focused overview of the fest. Starting off with the generally crowd-pleasing Main Slate, a number of women-directed features stood out (eight out of thirty-two, in fact).

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LAST SUMMER (NYFF 2023) – Review by Margaret Barton Fumo

Rife with tension, ambiguous morals and sexual taboos, Catherine Breillat is back with her first film in a decade, the unexpectedly thrilling Last Summer. The film occupies familiar territory for Breillat–that of doomed relationships–with a focus on Anne, a successful lawyer in her early fifties who engages in a torrid affair with her 17-year-old stepson Théo. And while culturally, things are indeed “different in France,” (Théo drinks alcohol legally and has been smoking with his parents since the age of 12, for example), Breillat treats their relationship as something far more damaging than a mere sexual indiscretion.

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New York Film Festival 2023: Female Filmmakers in Focus – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

The New York Film Festival is set to return to the city with a packed schedule of international films. A little over one-fifth of the features this year are directed by women, with several standouts in the coveted Main Slate. Sofia Coppola’s highly anticipated Priscilla is one such feature, scheduled to be the festival’s “Centerpiece” screening. Many critics are eagerly situating Coppola’s film, which is based on Priscilla Presley’s memoir, Elvis and Me, as the femme-centric antidote to Baz Luhrmann’s bombastic rock ‘n’ roll biopic. All assumed comparisons aside, the subject matter is certainly well-suited to its director, given Coppola’s accomplished history of directing moody tales of alienated women.

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TIFF 2023 Preview: Films Directed By Women

The 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is once again ready to kick off in Toronto. While this year may not have the star power of previous years due to the ongoing SAG and WGA strikes, there are still plenty of films to see – especially ones with women filmmakers at the helm. While not reaching gender parity in their programming this year, TIFF is still showcasing films by women from around the world. Both well-established directors and first-time directors helm everything from star-studded ensembles, documentaries, indie dramas, comedies, and more. With more than 70 films, series, and shorts directed by women, there are many opportunities to take in female-helmed films this festival, which runs September 7 through 17th. See the full list of feature-length films and series directed or co-directed by women.

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Women @ 71st Melbourne International Film Fest – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

In 2023, MIFF, well, felt like MIFF again. Mask sightings were rare, the festival’s long queues wound snake-like around city blocks once again, and if not for the unseasonably warm weather it felt like business as usual. With in-cinema programming running from 3 to 20 August and MIFF Play streaming from 18 to 27 August, MIFF is not just a lengthy festival when compared with other international fests, but also one of the longest running; founded in 1952, its first edition was a year after the first Berlin Film Fest, and it predates both TIFF and Sundance by decades. TIFF is perhaps the most useful point of reference when it comes to trying to capture the tone of MIFF for those in the Northern Hemisphere; while both have a significant industry portion (amongst other things, MIFF hosts the annual 37ºSouth Market), both festivals are marked by a kind of proud, public facing euphoria and share a similar spirit of accessibility when it comes to welcoming audiences from all walks of life, not just industry players going through the motions.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Aug. 18-24: ABUSE OF WEAKNESS

Opening Aug. 22, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Abuse of Weakness, from French writer-director Catherine Breillat. Inspired by her own life after she suffered a debilitating stroke and fell prey to a notorious conman, Breillat has created a deeply personal film that doesn’t pull any punches. Known for exploring female sexuality in teens it’s interesting to see Breillat tackle the influence of power and sex on an older women. Isabelle Huppert stars opposite French rapper Kool Shen. Read on…

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