The Venice Film Festival continues to make announcements in the week following its lineup unveiling. The festival had received some criticism for its lack of in-competition films directed by women. The only feature to be directed by a woman in the competition is “Nightengale,” by Jennifer Kent. However, the festival will be debuting a massive documentary about women directors. “Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema” will be an episodic 16-hour documentary from Mark Cousins. We now know that Tilda Swinton will narrate the entire project.
According to Deadline, Swinton will be one of the main narrators of the project. The first four hours of “Women Make Film” will debut at Venice. Cousins is a well-known documentarian with the Cannes film “The Eyes Of Orson Welles” this year. He also directed “The Story Of Film: An Odyssey” in 2011 and “I Am Belfast” in 2015. “Women Make Film” will feature thousands of film extracts, broken into 40 chapters. Some of the directors featured prominently in the film Agnes Varda, Jane Campion, Angelina Jolie, Lynne Ramsay, Sally Potter, Lois Weber, Anne Hui, Safi Faye, Mania Akbari, Binka Zhelyazkova and Clio Barnard.
This marks a second documentary this year focused on women directors. “Half the Picture” made festivals appearances earlier this year. The topic remains a hot-button issue, and thankfully more women have received opportunities to direct in the last few months. However, there is still a long way to go, and the number of women directors needs to continue to increase. With projects like this one, a focus on the topic to continue to grow. Hopefully, the Venice Film Festival will take note for next year.