Sofia Coppola Makes History as the Second Woman to Win Best Director at Cannes

Sofia Coppola has created history as the second woman to win Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival in its 71-year history.

Coppola won the award for her new film The Beguiled, a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film of the same name. Before her, Russian director Yuliya Solntseva accepted the title in 1961 for her drama film Chronicle of Flaming Years.

Coppola was not present to receive the prize, but in her pre-written speech she thanked her father, Francis Ford Coppola, “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”, as well as director Jane Campion for “being a role model and supporting women filmmakers.”

Campion is so far the only woman to win Palme d’Or, the highest honour in Cannes, for her 1993 film The Piano.

The win is significant to Coppola, particularly after her last competition film for the festival, Marie Antoinette, famously got booed in 2006.

With two women in its Best Director award, Cannes is now ahead of the Academy Award, which has only awarded one woman for the title: Kathryn Bigelow for 2008’s The Hurt Locker.