Julia Ducournau

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Julia Ducournau
Born (1983-11-18) 18 November 1983 (age 37)
Paris, France
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active2011–present

Julia Ducournau (born 18 November 1983) is a French film director and screenwriter. She is best known for her film Raw. Her films typically fall under the body horror genre.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Julia Ducournau attended La Fémis and studied screenwriting. Her first film, Junior, is about a girl who “after contracting a stomach bug” began to “shed her skin” like a snake.[1] In 2011, Junior won the Petit Rail d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[2] In 2012, Ducournau released a TV-film titled Mange. This film follows a recovering bulimic who is seeking “revenge on her college tormentor.”[1] Her first feature film Raw, is her most successful to date.[3][1] The project had been developed through the TorinoFilmLab Framework programme in 2013. Raw[4][5][6][7] was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[8] In October 2016, Raw won the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature at the London Film Festival.[9] Per David Fear of the Rolling Stones, Raw is a contender for the "best horror movie of the decade."[10] In the fall of 2019, Ducournau's newest film Titane was bought by Neon. This purchase is one of a few, as the film distributor attempts to broaden its French cinematographic library.[11]

Theme and style[edit]

According to the scholar Aldana Xavier, horror films have historically been a male enterprise. These films are made for males, directed by males, and stereotypically depict females.[12] However, female directors such as Julia Ducournau have been pushing back against these societal assumptions. Despite this, scholar Isabella Maher illustrates that Ducournau has been criticized for reinforcing “sexist ideas of young women as narcissistic, spiteful and competitive" within her films.[13] Per Xavier, female directors that fall under this “postfeminist horror cinema” like Julia Ducournau, often find that their gender outshines their work.[13] During interviews with journalists, their gender appears to be the main topic of conversation rather than the substance of their work. As stated by Maher, directors like Ducournau want to be thought of as directors, not female directors, and their work be treated accordingly.[13] Thus, although a lot of work has been done to progress the horror industry towards gender parity but there is still a lot more work that needs to be done to achieve equality.

Xavier categorizes Ducournau's films as "Gothic Horror Heroinism."[12] This is illustrated by "graphic body horror" shown in all of her films.[1][12] According to Ducournau, her "flesh fascination stems from her childhood" since both her parents are doctors.[1] Per Ducournau, the way in which her parents spoke about the human body growing up informed her artistic expression within her films. For instance, she outlines in an interview with the Guardian that "doctors have this very upfront yet distant way of talking about bodies and death."[1] Alex Godfrey, Guardian journalist, illustrates this "flesh fascination" can be seen through her "unflinching" use of the camera in Raw, with "unforgiving" closeups and "atrocities un-glorified."[1]


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer
2011 Junior Yes Yes Short film
Cannes Film Festival – Petit Rail d'Or
2012 Mange Yes Yes Telefilm; co-director
2015 The Wakhan Front Yes Script consultant
2016 Raw Yes Yes Austin Fantastic Fest - Best Director (Next Wave Features)
Cannes Film FestivalFIPRESCI Prize
Film Fest Gent - Explore Award
London Film FestivalSutherland Trophy
Sitges Film Festival - Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation
Sitges Film Festival - Carnet Jove Jury Award for Best Feature Length Film
Sitges Film Festival - Méliès d'Argent for Best Feature Length European Film
Prix Louis Delluc 2017
2016 A Taste Of Ink Yes Script consultant
TBA Titane Yes Yes Post-production


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Godfrey, Alex (30 March 2017). "Raw director Julia Ducournau: 'Cannibalism is part of humanity'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Julia Ducournau". La Fémis.
  3. ^ Fear, David (13 March 2017). "'Raw' Review: Cannibal Coming-of-Age Film Is a Modern Horror Masterpiece". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter (3 January 2017). "10 Directors to Watch: Julia Ducournau Reveals 'Raw' Side of French Cinema". Variety. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  5. ^ Brown, Todd (12 January 2017). "RAW: Watch The Hypnotic And Grotesque Red Band Trailer For Julia Ducournau's Acclaimed Debut". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Red Band Trailer Revealed For Julia Ducournau's Directorial Debut RAW". Horror Cult Films. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  7. ^ Berger, Laura (16 January 2017). "A Vegetarian Transforms into a Cannibal in Julia Ducournau's "Raw"". Women and Hollywood. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Grave". Semaine de la Critique. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Diversity Reigns at the London Film Festival Awards". What's Worth Seeing. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  10. ^ "The Second Act: Modulating Fear, Terror and Horror". Writing the Horror Movie. 2013. doi:10.5040/9781501340581.ch-007. ISBN 9781501340581.
  11. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (10 September 2019). "Neon Nabs 'Titane,' Follow-Up Feature From 'Raw' Director Julia Ducournau". Variety. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Xavier, Aldana Reyes (2019). "Introduction: Gothic and Horror Heroinism in the Age of Postfeminism". Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural. 4: 8–21 – via Google Scholar.
  13. ^ a b c Maher, Isabella (2016). "Beauty 'Beyond Feminism'? An Intersectional Analysis of Venerated Beauty in Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon". Literature & Aesthetics. 28: 65–82 – via Google Scholar.

External links[edit]