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Cannes Market Dailies

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Nina Menkes brings two new projects on women's condition at Festival de Cannes

NINA MENKES, following on the success this month of the re-release of her feminist classic, Queen of Diamonds (restored by the Academy Film Archive and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation) and her celebrated talk SEX AND POWER: THE VISUAL LANGUAGE OF OPPRESSIONwill be in Cannes with two new projects.
The director of DissolutionPhantom Love and The Bloody Child will present her feature film project HEATSTROKE at the new women’s pitching session BREAKING THROUGH THE LENS on Sunday, May 19 in the morning (10.00-13.00) at the Members Club, La Plage 45.
Set in Los Angeles, California and Cairo, Egypt during the searing heat of a contemporary summer, HEATSTROKE is a psychological thriller about two sisters’ ruptured relationship. The film’s root is a violent - possibly sexual - early trauma that sits in the women’s psychic closet - and this event’s ripple effects against the background of one of the key conflicts of our time: The West and the Islamic world. Like all Menkes’s work,HEATSTROKE will combine interior dream worlds with harsh outer realities to create a unique and visually stunning cinematic experience.
HEATSTROKE is produced by Elisabeth Bentley at Marginalia Pictures and executive produced by Gus Van Sant. Bentley is at Cannes as the producer of A HIDDEN LIFE by Terrence Malick, premiering in Competition.
In the meantime, Nina is shooting BRAINWASHED, a feature documentary, based on her acclaimed talk Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Oppression. While #metoo addresses sexual violence in the workplace and #timesup provides resources and advocacy for equity in the workplace,BRAINWASHED discusses the assumptions hidden within the visual language which surrounds us, constantly. BRAINWASHED is produced by Elisabeth Bentley, Marginalia Pictures and Tim Disney, Uncommon Productions.
BRAINWASHED analyses film clips from A-list directors from 1940 through the present to show how the visual grammar of cinema contributes to conditions that create discriminatory hiring practice, pay inequity and the pervasive environment of sexual harassment and assault that characterize the film industry and our culture at large. BRAINWASHED will also include interviews with other female and marginalized filmmakers commenting on the ways they’ve interrogated and interacted with the visual language they’ve inherited from the “masters”. Nina will also meet the performers depicted in the clips to give voice to their experience and feelings about the way their bodies were used in the scenes shown. The team will be shooting in Cannes.

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