Cannes leaders sign pledge to improve gender equality

Cate Blanchett & Agnès Varda Lead Women’s March At Cannes Film Festival

By Steffanie Tan

The red carpet of Cannes Film Festival wouldn't be complete without its rightful dose of diamond, gold, ruby, emerald, and magnificent pieces of jewelry worn by the most bankable and promising actresses, and supermodels.

Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, and Ava DuVernay were all present as Cannes Film Festival chiefs signed a charter pledging gender parity on Monday (14May18).

The ranks included a battalion of Oscar winners from Helen Mirren and Marion Cotillard to USA blockbuster directors Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins who made "Wonder Woman".

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.

"We hope that it will reinforce the realization that the world is not the same anymore", Fremaux said. In those same years, 1,866 male directors have done the same. "The world has changed".

On Saturday, 82 women, including Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, staged a protest on the red carpet. The prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors - too numerous to mention by name - but only two female directors: Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit, and the wonderful Agnes Varga, who stands with us today.

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.

Under a non-exclusive MOU signed on the sidelines of the Cannes International Film Festival, the GCA and Imax will look for opportunites to help Saudi studios and directors release films with cross-border appeal and eventually tap Imax's global distribution platform to export their films to non-Arabic markets, as per media reports.

"Even if there is a higher proportion of women showing films at Cannes, we're aware that it's not enough", said Mr Fremaux. Toronto and San Sebastian have already agreed to sign, organizers said, and will host events at their respective film festivals later in the year.

"It is fundamental for the festival to be part of this", added Seydoux. Of India, Hon'ble Ambassador of India to France, Ashok Kumar Parmar, Prasoon Joshi, Writer, Poet and Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification India, Vani Tripathi Tikoo Member, Central Board of Film Certification, Producer and Director, Jerome Paillard, Executive Director, Marche Du Film Festival, Cannes Film Market, Actress, Shaji Karun, filmmaker, Jahnu Barua.

France has the best ratio among the major film-producing countries with 23 per cent of films directed by women.

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