Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

Eighty-two women to take part in Cannes Film Festival protest

Eighty-two women to take part in Cannes Film Festival protest

She continued: 'In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival, there have been only 12 female heads of juries, and the prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors, too numerous to mention by name, but only two female directors: Jane Campion who is with us in spirit, and the wonderful Agnes Varda who stands with us today.

Blanchett, who is presiding the jury this year awarding the coveted Palme d'Or award, one of the film industry's highest honours, said: "We demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so they can best reflect the world in which we live".

The group - including actresses Marion Cotillard and Salma Hayek, directors such as Patty Jenkins, Ava DuVernay and Haifaa Al Mansour, agents like Hylda Queally and Maha Dakhil, and cinema professionals such as Telluride Film Festival programmer Julie Huntsinger and journalist Melissa Silverstein - will climb the steps that lead to the festival's Theatre Debussy, pause and stand motionless and silent facing the Palais. "Let's climb", it concluded.

Several protestors including Stewart made a strong fashion statement by donning suits and tuxedos, in a show of defiance to Cannes' red-carpet dress code which is often denounced as sexist.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blanchett - jury head of the 2018 festival - was joined by 81 female actors and executives on the steps of the red carpet during the Cannes screening of "Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil)".

In response, the festival set up an anti-harassment hotline this year.

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Only four of the 111 winners have been female - and two of them were past year when Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to secure the best director trophy with her American Civil War drama "The Beguiled". Stewart made headlines at last year's gathering after calling attention to the rule that stated women were required to wear heels to film premieres during the festival.

Blanchett has criticised Cannes for once again failing to invite more female directors.

Her comments echo those of fellow actress Jessica Chastain who served on the jury past year and lambasted Cannes for its "disturbing" depiction of women.

"There are many women on the jury but I wish there were more in competition", the Australian-born star told French radio earlier this week.

One of the first women to call out Weinstein, Blanchett recently co-founded the "Time's Up" movement in support of abuse victims.

However, only 7 percent of all Hollywood blockbusters were directed by women in 2016. But the actress is away from films for a very long time now and she is now married as well.

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