Eighty-two women including Cate Blanchett and Ava DuVernay marched up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday to protest gender inequality at the festival and in the wider film industry. The world's top festival also promised to be more transparent in its selection process after facing years of criticism over the lack of women directors in its main competition.
Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Salma Hayek were among those taking part in the red-carpet demonstration.
Fremaux said he hoped that Cannes would embrace the new initiatives, which include a pledge to compile statistics tracking the gender of filmmakers and major crew members on all the films submitted to the festival.
In her speech, Blanchett said 82 women were on the steps because that is the "number of female directors who have climbed these stairs" since Cannes' inception in 1946. We hope that it will reinforce the realisation that the world is not the same anymore. In this occasion, Golden Palm Jury will be headed by the well known Australian actress Cate Blanchett, mainly composed by women, while the Certain Regard section will be headed by the Puerto Rican filmmaker Benicio Del Toro.
The Cannes representatives are the first to sign the Programming Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in Cinema Festivals, a document created by the French gender-parity group 50/50 by 2020. "The prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors-too numerous to mention by name-but only two women".
The protest was held ahead of the premiere of French filmmaker Eva Husson's "Girls of the Sun", which is about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers.
Gera's "Sir", which has been selected for Critic's Week, a sidebar of the Cannes Film Festival, will be showcased on May 14, 15 and 16 here.
In the past, Fremaux has pointed out that the Cannes festival screens films directed by women at a much higher percentage than are made in the movie industry itself.
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