Cannes 2018: Female stars protest on red carpet for equal rights

Cate Blanchett & Agnès Varda Lead Women’s March At Cannes Film Festival

By Steffanie Tan

Blanchett shared the speech with Agnès Varda - one of the most celebrated French film directors in the industry who has spent decades using her platform and art to discuss feminist issues within society.

Linked arm in arm, 82 women from the film industry marched up the stairs of the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival here on Saturday, hoping to make a statement about the need for gender equality in the movie business.

Jury members Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Ava DuVernay were also on hand to witness the signing, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

The march was a part of the 5050 2020 In Cannes movement where on the 14 May, there will be a signing of a Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in cinema festivals.

Fremaux says they hope this pledge reinforces the realisation that the world has changed and that our history and habits must be questioned. In contrast, 1,866 male directors have been selected in the festival's 71-year history.

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Only 82 female directors have ever competed for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, since 1946 compared with nearly 1,700 male directors.

Cannes has come under repeated criticism in recent years over its poor record of selecting female filmmakers. Only one woman has ever taken home the top prize: Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993.

Of the 21 films in competition this year, three are directed by women. Without Thierry Fremaux saying yes to the pledge, without saying yes to the stairs, we wouldn't be here.

"Films like Tamasha and Befikre were shot extensively in this part of the world", she added further. Of India, Hon'ble Ambassador of India to France, Ashok Kumar Parmar, Prasoon Joshi, Writer, Poet and Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification India, Vani Tripathi Tikoo Member, Central Board of Film Certification, Producer and Director, Jerome Paillard, Executive Director, Marche Du Film Festival, Cannes Film Market, Actress, Shaji Karun, filmmaker, Jahnu Barua. Nyssen said the festival "holds the keys" to moving women forward, not just in film but in a variety of industries.

On Monday morning, high-ranking representatives from the Cannes Film Festival signed a pledge to deliver more work by women filmmakers into the world-renowned film festival. The attendees broke into a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for the Hollywood actress after the signing.

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