Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Cate Blanchett led a Cannes red carpet women's march

Cate Blanchett led a Cannes red carpet women's march

The sight of 82 women walking slowly, silently and purposefully up the red-carpeted stars of Cannes' Grand Theatre Lumiere brought home the shocking under-representation of female film-makers at an event meant to celebrate the totality of world cinema. The intention of the protest was to express how hard it still is to climb the social and professional ladder as a woman in the film industry. Since the launch of the Cannes Film Festival, only 82 films directed by women have been awarded by an official selection in competition, compared to 1,645 films directed by men, a ratio of less than five per cent.

Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Selma Hayek were among those who took part in the demonstration on Saturday, which saw a group of actresses and film-makers link arms as they walked the red carpet. Women are Not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise. Care Blanchett read the English version of the statement while Agnés Varda read the statement in French.

Agnes Varda, the legendary French film director of "Faces Places", added, "The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all".

Capernaum, from Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, and Happy as Lazzaro, by Italy's Alice Rohrwacher, are the other two works by female filmmakers up for the prize in 2018.

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. Only one woman has ever taken home the top prize: Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993.

Among those taking part was Haifaa Al-Mansour, widely recognised as Saudi Arabia's first female film director, who stood beside Twilight star Kristen Stewart and former Bond girl Lea Seydoux for the portrait. But he's also signaled that the festival is reanalyzing its procedures and making its selection committees gender-balanced. He had previously insisted that Cannes should choose its films based purely on quality.

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