After Agnès: Ten French Filmmakers to Watch in 2021

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It’s not every day that a grass-roots fandom inspires a Letterboxd Easter egg, but the love for Portrait of a Lady on Fire was so strong that those flames are here to stay. With a new Céline Sciamma fairytale on the horizon, we invited #PortraitNation founder Sarah Williams to highlight ten femmes de cinéma with new works due out this year, and suggest films from their back catalogs to watch now.

Among many dramatic moments in cinema in 2020, there was the resignation of the entire César Academy board, following protests about the nomination of filmmaker and child rapist Roman Polanski (dubbed ‘Violanski’ by French feminists). Then there were the walkouts at the 45th César Awards ceremony itself, led by actress Adèle Haenel, after Polanski won there. Firm calls for change followed from Le Collectif 50/50, a movement that has urged parity on festival selection committees, after seeing how few female filmmakers were allowed into competition categories. (They have had some success, particularly with Cannes, where selection committees have moved towards more transparency and a better gender balance.)

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