Cannes film fest vows parity push for women

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

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

This weekend however, Cate Blanchett took it a step further, leading an 82-woman Cannes red carpet #MeToo protest - and we're here for it. The intention of the protest was to express how hard it still is to climb the social and professional ladder as a woman in the film industry.

"On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946", Blanchett said. Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux and Salma Hayek were among those who joined.

"Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise", Cannes jury president Cate Blanchett and French director Agnes Varda read from a statement during the protest. As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress.

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. Two films by Indian filmmakers - Nandita Das' "Manto" and Rohena Gera's "Sir" - are in separate competition sections at the gala, one of the most prestigious film jamborees around the world.

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"We must question our history and our habits", the Cannes festival director added, calling on other global film festivals to follow suit.

The other two - Nadine Labaki's "Capernaum", and Alice Rohrwacher's "Happy as Lazzaro" - are to premiere next week. Jane Campion is the only female filmmaker to ever win the Palme.

Well now they're making headlines again as last night having staged a protest at the lack of gender equality within the festival itself.

"Cinema is a world that is founded on desire: the desire of producers and directors to make movies with this or that actress, the desire of spectators to watch those movies - and that desire is based, also, on physical attraction", said Marlène Schiappa, France's junior minister for gender equality, in an interview.

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