Clare Stewart

Film Festivals - creative and strategic consultant

Voted for

Parasite2019Bong Joon-ho
Sweet Country2017Warwick Thornton
The Rider2017Chloé Zhao
Toni Erdmann2016Maren Ade
Under the Skin2013Jonathan Glazer
Girlhood2014Céline Sciamma
Lovers Rock2020Steve McQueen
Lore2012Cate Shortland
Moonlight2016Barry Jenkins
Jiā Nián Huá2017Vivian Qu


What is the purpose of list writing? As a festival director, it was illegal to have favourites. All those films that whisper to me in the secret language of lovers, challenge me like the very best collaborators, or hold strong like trusted friends. Why would I want to put them in any kind of order?

What is the purpose of canon creation? It provides a spiritual road map for people embarking on the discovery of film; but it also excludes, reinforces the status quo, and feels suffocating in its frequent predictability.

I felt genuine distress in March 2011 when I realised there was only one film in the Sight and Sound top 20 that was made in my lifetime (and here I will get empirical: I am no longer early spring!). So, I am voting strategically – and sincerely – by restricting myself to the last decade, in a probably futile attempt to redress the fact that only two films (In the Mood for Love and Mulholland Drive) in the last top 100 were from the previous decade. Because the greatest cinema ‘of all time’ is a continuum.

(And all my 2011 votes are still true too).