Sofia Coppola is the Second Woman Ever to Win Best Director at Cannes

Sofia Coppola is the Second Woman Ever to Win Best Director at Cannes

A win for Coppola is a win for female directors everywhere.

A win for Coppola is a win for female directors everywhere.

Text: Emma Blanchard

For directing The Beguiled, a remake of Clint Eastwood's 1971 film, Sofia Coppola has earned major props and a historic win at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Coppola takes home the Best Director award, and is only the second female to ever do so. The previous female winner was Russian director Yuliya Solntseva, almost 56 years ago. Solntseva earned the award for her drama Chronicle of Flaming Years.

The Beguiled, based on Thomas Cullinan's novel A Painted Devil,  follows the wild events that transpire at an all girls school in Virginia after a wounded (and rather handsome) Union soldier is taken in. Coppola rounded up a star-studded cast for this film—Nicole Kidman, who took home the 70th Anniversary Jury Prize, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell, and Kirsten Dunst. This win is not only well deserved but also monumental for female directors everywhere. Cannes has faced scrutiny in the past for its lack of diversity in nominations. This year, however, two other female directors, Lynne Ramsay and Naomi Kawas, were also in the running for the Palme d’Or, Cannes's top prize.

In her acceptance speech, Coppola took the time to thank her most prominent influences and family members: "Thank you to the jury for this honor... Thank you to my father, who taught me about writing and directing and for sharing his love of cinema, and to my mother for encouraging me to be an artist," Coppola, who was not present for the ceremony, said via written statement. "Thank you to Jane Campion for being a role model and supporting women filmmakers."

The film debuted at the festival, but will premiere to the public in theaters on June 23.  Check out the trailer below.

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