The leaders of the Cannes Film Festival have signed a gender equality pledge promising to make their selection process more transparent and to push their executive boards toward gender parity. Looking on from the front row were members of this year's nine-person jury, among them Kristen Stewart and jury president Cate Blanchett, both of whom took part in Saturday's protest.
"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".
Saying he would transform the movie festival, Thierry told the Associated Press: "We hope that Cannes will welcome these new initiatives".
Cate Blanchett has led a protest on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival. 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 world has changed". "In the same period, 1,688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs".
"We must question our history and our habits", the Cannes festival director added, calling on other worldwide film festivals to follow suit.
Cannes has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years over the number of female directors selected into its main slate, considered one of the most esteemed achievements in cinema.
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She added that 71 male directors have received the Palme d'Or, the most prestigious award of the festival.
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.
In 2018 only three out of the 21 directors in the competition for the Palme d'Or are women.
Its key commitments include the compilation of statistics to record the gender of the filmmakers and key crew of all submissions.
The Cannes Film Festival has always been criticized for gender imbalance on its juries and in its film selection.