On Saturday May 12th, Cate Blanchett called for gender equality by leading a Women’s March on the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival.
Taking place on the steps of the Palais, the jury president was joined by 81 women from the film industry, including jurors Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek, and Patty Jenkins.
According to statistics the number of participants referenced the number of women who have competed at Cannes over its 71-years in history; where in fact 1,645 films have been directed by men.
Blanchett sets the record straight in a powerful speech- “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. In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival there have been 12 female heads of its juries. The prestigious Palme d’Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors—too numerous to mention by name—but only two women.”
“Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise,” Blanchett continued. “As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination and our 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 today in solidarity with women of all industries.”
Legendary director Agnes Varda concluded the speech by adding, “The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all. Let’s climb.”
A similar version to the #MeToo movement known as 5050×2020 organized this event at the festival. Women of the industry take a historic stand at Cannes with an extremely important message, where Blanchett with the help of actresses and Hollywood executives make several demands for change.