Arts&Culture

Cannes film fest chiefs sign gender equality charter

Cannes film fest chiefs sign gender equality charter

It was a historic moment as Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, this year's president of the Cannes Film Festival jury, led a women's march up the stairs of the iconic Palais des Festivals theatre to promote equality for women at the French Riviera. Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux and Salma Hayek were among those who joined.

This weekend however, Cate Blanchett took it a step further, leading an 82-woman Cannes red carpet #MeToo protest - and we're here for it.

On Monday morning, high-ranking representatives from the Cannes Film Festival signed a pledge to deliver more work by women filmmakers into the world-renowned film festival. In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs.

While there has been buzz around Bella Hadid and The Weeknd's reunion in the French city and the festival's selfie-free red carpet, the main talk of Cannes Film Festival has been its badass female jury.

"Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise", she declared. She said her fellow female stars were calling for "a world that allows all of us, in front and behind the camera, to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues". What's important is that the 82 of us who stood there stood in solidarity with women from all professions, all countries.

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Hosted by actor Sharad Kelkar, it saw the presence of Indian ambassador to France Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Ashok Kumar Parmar, Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; writer, poet and Censor Board Chairperson Prasoon Joshi, Censor Board member Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Jerome Paillard, Executive Director, Marche Du Film Festival (Cannes Film Market), actress Huma Qureshi and filmmakers Shaji N. Karun, Jahnu Barua and Bharat Bala.

Total of 82 women were part of the protest.

Only 82 films directed by women have been selected for the festival's prestigious Palme d'Or competition in its 71-year history, compared with 1,645 directed by men.

The Cannes representatives are the first to sign the Programming Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in Cinema Festivals, a document created by the French gender-parity group 50/50 by 2020.


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