|Born||12 November 1978|
|Alma mater||La Fémis|
Céline Sciamma (French: [selin sjama]; born 12 November 1978) is a French screenwriter and film director. A common theme in Sciamma's films is the fluidity of gender and sexual identity among girls and women.
Early life and education
Sciamma was raised in Cergy-Pontoise, a suburb outside of Paris. Her father, Dominique Sciamma, is a software designer, and her brother, Laurent Sciamma, is a stand-up performer and graphic designer.
Before attending La Fémis, the première French film school, Sciamma studied literature. As a child, she was an avid reader and became interested in film as a teenager. She wrote her first original script for Water Lilies as part of her final evaluation at La Fémis. Xavier Beauvois, who was chairman of the evaluation panel, and could be considered as her mentor, persuaded her to make the film. A year after finishing school, she began shooting the film in her hometown.
Sciamma's debut film, Water Lilies, was selected for screening in the section Un certain regard at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. The film secured three nominations for the 2008 César Awards; Sciamma was nominated for the César Award for Best Debut, and actresses Adèle Haenel and Louise Blachère were both nominated for the César Award for Most Promising Actress.
Sciamma directed her first short film, Pauline, in 2009 as part of a government anti-homophobia campaign called ‘Five films against homophobia’.
Her 2011 film Tomboy was written and shot in a matter of months. Sciamma wrote the script in three weeks, completed casting in three weeks, and shot the film in 20 days. It premiered at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama section of the festival. The film was shown in French schools as part of an educational program.
Her 2014 film Girlhood was selected to be screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It also played at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In interviews, Sciamma said that Girlhood would be her last coming-of-age film and that she considered it, Water Lilies and Tomboy a trilogy.
Since 2015, Sciamma has served as the co-president of the SRF (Society of Film Directors).
In between directing her own films, Sciamma continues to work as a screenwriter for other directors. She was sought after by André Téchiné, whose work Sciamma admired as a youth, to co-write the screenplay for his 2016 film Being 17.
Sciamma's fourth feature film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, began shooting in autumn 2018. It premiered In Competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay.
Sciamma shot her fifth feature, Petite Maman, in the fall of 2020 and it premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2021.
Sciamma is a feminist. She was a founding member of the French branch of the 5050 by 2020 movement, a group of French film industry professionals advocating for gender parity in film by the year 2020.
Celine Sciamma uses her platform to speak about the restrictions of the male gaze and present movies that elevate the female gaze.
In 2018, she co-organized and participated in the women's protest against inequality at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival alongside many notable women in film including Agnès Varda, Ava DuVernay, Cate Blanchett and Léa Seydoux.
Céline Sciamma is a lesbian. In 2014, Adèle Haenel publicly acknowledged that she was in a relationship with Sciamma in her acceptance speech for her César award. The two had met on the set of the 2007 film Water Lilies and started dating sometime after. The couple parted ways, amicably, sometime before the 2018 filming of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which Haenel starred in.
Sciamma frequently collaborates with Para One, who has scored all her films and directed scripts by Sciamma in the past.
She is noted for casting non-professional actors in her films. She also frequently casts actress Adèle Haenel, who appeared in Water Lilies, Pauline, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Sciamma has said that fashion and style form an important part of characterization, which is why, though uncredited, she is often the costume designer for her films.
- List of female film and television directors
- List of lesbian filmmakers
- List of LGBT-related films directed by women
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- Warbler, Daniel (2 June 2014). "THE OUT TAKE: 10 FANTASTIC TEDDY AWARD-WINNING LGBT FILMS TO WATCH RIGHT NOW". mtv.com. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
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- Musto, Michael (February 10, 2020). ""Portrait of a Lady on Fire" Director Céline Sciamma Says Being a Lesbian Is Her "Political Identity"". NewNowNext.
- Palmer, Tim; Michael, Charlie, eds. (2013). Directory of World Cinema: France. Bristol, United Kingdom: Intellect. ISBN 978-1-84150-563-3.
- Pollard, Alexandra (1 March 2020). "Portrait of a Lady on Fire director Céline Sciamma: 'Ninety per cent of what we look at is the male gaze'". The Independent.
- Soares, André (May 14, 2008). "'Water Lilies': Céline Sciamma Discusses Lesbian Teen Drama". Alt Film Guide.
- Taubin, Amy (November–December 2019). "Interview: Céline Sciamma". Film Comment.
- Wilson, Emma (Spring 2017). "Scenes of Hurt and Rapture: Céline Sciamma's Girlhood". Film Quarterly. 70 (3): 10–22. doi:10.1525/fq.2017.70.3.10. ISSN 0015-1386.
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