Julia Ducournau is a French film director and screenwriter. She made her feature film debut in 2016 with Raw. At the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, she won the Palme d'Or for her film Titane, which made her the second female director to win the award as well as the first to win the award solo. Additionally, Ducournau also received a nomination for Best Director at the 75th British Academy Film Awards. Her films typically fall under the body horror genre.
Early life and career
Julia Ducournau was born in Paris to a gynaecologist mother and dermatologist father. She attended La Fémis and studied screenwriting. Her first film, Junior, is a short film about a girl who “after contracting a stomach bug” began to “shed her skin” like a snake. In 2011, Junior won the Petit Rail d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2012, Ducournau released a TV-film titled Mange. The film follows a recovering bulimic who is seeking “revenge on her college tormentor.” Her first feature film is 2016's Raw. The project had been developed through the TorinoFilmLab Framework programme in 2013. Raw was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In October 2016, Raw won the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature at the London Film Festival. Per David Fear of Rolling Stone, Raw is a contender for the "best horror movie of the decade."
In 2021, Ducournau's sophomore feature Titane was bought by Neon. For Titane, Ducournau was awarded the coveted Palme d'Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival where it had its world premiere. The award was accidentally presented to Ducournau at the beginning of the awards ceremony by jury president Spike Lee, although it was intended to be the final award of the evening. Ducournau is the second female filmmaker to win after Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano, the first to win not jointly with another director (Campion had won jointly alongside Chen Kaige, for Farewell My Concubine), and the fourth female overall to win after Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux won in 2013 for their performances in Blue is the Warmest Colour. Additionally, Ducournau also received a nomination for Best Director at the 75th British Academy Film Awards.