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Cate Blanchett led a protest at the Cannes Film Festival to highlight the lack of gender equality at the festival

82 women took part to highlight the 82 female directors who have premiered at the festival since 1946 compared to 1,645 male directors.

TO SAY THAT the film industry has had a turbulent time of late would probably be an understatement. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movement have shaken the industry to the core and rightly so as people realise they no longer have to fear speaking up.

The Cannes Film Festival has already proven interesting this year with a female dominated jury  that includes Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart that made headlines at their photocall.

Xinhua News Agency / PA Images Xinhua News Agency / PA Images / PA Images

Well now they’re making headlines again as last night having staged a protest at the lack of gender equality within the festival itself. 82 women including Blanchett who is president of the jury and Stewart took part in the protest to signify the 82  female directors (7 of whom were part of mixed gender teams) that have premiered at the festival since 1946 compared to 1,645 male directors.

The 82 women walked arm in arm down the red carpet to protest at gender inequality and was organised by a French group called 5050×2020 who want gender equality in the French film industry by 2020. Care Blanchett read the English version of the statement while Agnés Varda read the statement in French.

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 – Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit, and Agnès Varda who stands with us today.

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Women are NOT a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise. As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress. We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts.

Other famous faces in the protest included jury members Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux, and Khadja Nin as well as Marion Cotillard and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.

Boyer-Hahn-Marechal / ABACA Boyer-Hahn-Marechal / ABACA / ABACA

We WILL DEMAND that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so that they can best reflect the world in which we actually live. A world that allows all of us behind and in front of the camera to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues. WE ACKNOWLEDGE all of the women AND men who are standing for change.

Time is up for a lack of a gender balance and it’s about damn time too.

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