Thursday 17 January 2019

Cate Blanchett leads women’s march for equality at Cannes

Eighty two women took part to represent the female directors who have had films in competition at the festival.

Cate Blanchett at the Cannes women's march (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
Cate Blanchett at the Cannes women's march (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Cate Blanchett, Ava DuVernay, Kristen Stewart and Marion Cotillard are among the 82 women who have taken part in a women’s march on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival.

The number represents the 82 films that have been directed by women in the main competition of the festival’s 71-year history, compared with 1,645 by male directors.

The group, which also included actress Lea Seydoux, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and French auteur Agnes Varda, posed holding hands on the steps of the Palais, where jury president Blanchett said: “We all face our own unique challenges but we stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress.

“We are writers, we are producers, we are directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all of us are involved in the cinematic arts and we stand together in solidarity with women of all industries.”

The march up the steps of the Palais was organised by French movement 5050×2020, which calls for gender equality and diversity in the French film industry.

A statement on the group’s website refers to the scandal that follows the sexual assault allegations made against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, saying: “While French cinema wasn’t shaken by the Weinstein shockwave, it is essential that we move to take concrete action reaching beyond the issue of sexual abuse alone.

France Cannes 2018 50/50 2020

“We believe that the distribution of power needs to be questioned. We believe that equality restores the balance of power.

“We believe that diversity deeply changes representations.

“We believe that the opportunity to work in an egalitarian and inclusive environment must be seized because we are certain that the equal sharing of power will promote profound creative renewal.”

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