Culture&Arts

Cannes Film Festival bosses sign gender equality pledge

Cannes Film Festival bosses sign gender equality pledge

The same global coalition was behind Saturday's rally on the red carpet steps of Cannes' Palais des Festivales, where 82 women protested gender inequality in the film industry.

The leaders of the Cannes Film Festival have signed a gender equality pledge promising to make their selection process more transparent and to push their executive boards toward gender parity.

It brought an array of film industry professionals to the Cannes red carpet, including actresses Salma Hayek and Jane Fonda, "Wonder Woman" filmmaker Patty Jenkins and French director Agnes Varda, a recipient of an honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes.

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.

Fremaux said he hoped that Cannes would embrace the new initiatives, which include a pledge to compile statistics tracking the gender of filmmakers and major crew members on all the films submitted to the festival.

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The move stems from a red carpet protest by 82 female actors, writers, directors, and producers at the festival on Friday.

Fremaux says they hope this pledge reinforces the realisation that the world has changed and that our history and habits must be questioned.

"We must question our history and our habits", the Cannes festival director added, calling on other worldwide film festivals to follow suit.

Jury members Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Ava DuVernay were also on hand to witness the signing, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. This is just one likely reason that the Time's Up movement and a French movement named 5050x2020, representing the advocacy for 50/50 representation by 2020, organized this demonstration. Saturday's protest came ahead of the premiere of Eva Husson's "Girls of the Sun", which is about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers.

Cannes Film Festival chiefs have made a pledge for gender parity and inclusion.


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