Venice takes flak as sole woman filmmaker vies for top prize

The world’s oldest film festival opened Wednesday with its most mouth-watering line-up in decades, but only one female director among the 21 vying for the top prize. Turning 75 this year, the venerable festival boasts new films by Damien Chazelle, the Coen brothers and Alfonso Cuaron, along with Lady Gaga's much-hyped screen debut, cementing its status as Hollywood’s launching pad for awards season. But for the second year in a row, the “Mostra” has been criticised for including just one film by a woman -- Australia's Jennifer Kent with "The Nightingale" -- among the 21 vying for the Golden Lion top prize, which was last won by a female director 43 years ago.