Back to library

Festival Focus: Directors' Fortnight

Festival Focus: Directors' Fortnight

Our Festival Focus spotlight presents some of the best films to have shown at the visionary Directors’ Fortnight. Launched in 1969, Directors’ Fortnight was originally set up as an alternative to the Cannes Film Festival, following the transformative events of May ‘68. Some of the directors to feature in this original line-up included Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Bresson, Nagisa Oshima, and Humberto Solas, to name a few. It has since launched the careers of giants from the worlds of independent or arthouse cinema, showcasing bold and innovative films from all over the globe, and in certain cases, helping them grow new audiences. It was at the Fortnight that landmark films such as Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Chantal Akerman’s feminist touchstone Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles first premiered in 1975. Always forward-thinking and unafraid to show films that are strange, challenging, or daring, the Fortnight continues to highlight some of the most exciting gems in world cinema. Happy viewing!


Ariane Labed France, 2019

After answering an ad on a dating website for Eastern European women, Olla leaves Ukraine and heads to French suburbia to move in with Pierre, who lives with his elderly mother. However, the suburbia cannot temper her desires, and nothing goes as expected.

More info


Bertrand Mandico France, 2011

Bertrand Mandico (The Wild Boys) defied all expectations of the genre with his surreal and captivating biopic of the Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk. A fictionalized account of Borowczyk’s life, Boro in the Box is an elliptical paean to his singularly provocative cinema.


Pablo Larraín Chile, 2008

Pablo Larraín has been making politically cutting and darkly comic sharp autopsies of the past in his native Chile since this Quinzaine breakthrough. Tony Manero, a satirical psychological study and the first part of a thematic trilogy about life under Pinochet, is biting, confrontative cinema.


Miguel Gomes Portugal, 2015

Three volumes, three unidentified filmic objects of uncommon beauty, and three instant classics of contemporary cinema. Miguel Gomes’ outstanding masterpiece takes over. A vision of modern Portugal told with the inspiration of the timeless folk tales of Arabian Nights.


Luca Guadagnino Italy, 2019

The Italian director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) collaborated with Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, for this short film. With a star-laden cast and score by Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Staggering Girl unfolds with the mysteriousness of a dream, sumptuous and elusive.


Jacques Rivette France, 1976

A phantasmagoric noir from Jacques Rivette, whose free-form tales of conspiracy and game-playing inspire clandestine fervor. Rivette followed his masterpiece Celine and Julie Go Boating with Duelle, championed by the Quinzaine, and starring the great Juliet Berto and Bulle Ogier.


Philippe Garrel France, 1968

In astonishingly beautiful B&W, Philippe Garrel’s silent experimental narrative film was made in his 20s with the ferocious Zanzibar art collective. Shot near military camps in Germany, to create a feeling of oppression, it is a primal response to the events of May ’68 as they were still unfolding.


Miguel Gomes Portugal, 2015

The second installment of Miguel Gomes’ magnum opus is arguably the most melancholic of the three. While the whole trilogy is a unique blend of fine irony, dark humor, blissful fantasy, and fervent commitment to the present, this middle section confirms Arabian Nights as the ultimate political film.