Cannes film festivsl chiefs sign gender equality charter

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Cate Blanchett Michael B Jordan and Marion Cotillard make appearances on Day 6

Cate Blanchett just led a Women's March on the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival to make a very important point. Rather than demanding a certain percentage of films directed by women, according to Screen Daily, the pledge calls for festivals to push for parity on their executive boards, compile statistics on the gender of the filmmakers and key crew members for all submitted films, and increase the transparency of the selection process by publicly announcing selection committee members. In fact, last weekend, Blanchett, DuVernay and Stewart were joined by Patty Jenkins, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek, Agnes Varda and dozens of other female actors, directors, writers, producers and distributors, including Indian filmmakers Nandita Das and Rohena Gera and actress Rasika Dugal, to stand halfway up the red carpet, symbolising the challenges women face to climb the industry ladder.

The festival chiefs were said to have met with gender-parity groups from five different countries in Cannes, and now aim to reach out to additional film festivals around the world.

We WILL DEMAND that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so that they can best reflect the world in which we actually live.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux signed the pledge in front of a large crowd as the nine-member jury, which included Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay, watched on from the front row. "The world has changed".

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"We must question our history and our habits", added Fremaux. The protest was co-organized by 5050x2020, a movement striving for gender parity in the French cinema. Only one female director, Jane Campion, has won the festival's top award, the Palme d'Or.

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.

Of the 21 films in competition this year, three are directed by women.

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.

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