Cannes leaders sign gender equality plegde following protest

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

It comes after a number of female film stars came together to stage a protest against gender discrimination in the industry on the festival red carpet over the weekend.

Jury members Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Ava DuVernay were also on hand to witness the signing, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

Wearing a 50/50 button - a symbol of the "50/50 by 2020" arm of Time's Up, which is working toward gender parity in Hollywood in the next two years - Blanchett said that though women are not a minority worldwide, "the current state of our industry says otherwise".

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.

The pledge, dubbed the "Programming Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in Cinema Festivals", was signed May 14 during an Cannes event hosted by 5050×2020, the French women's group behind the red carpet protest for gender equality earlier in the festival.

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

The Oscar-winning actress led the 82 actress, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm in the unprecedented protest on Friday, May 11 to demand equal pay and an end to sexual harassment.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux signed the pledge on Monday in a packed tent on the Cannes beach, along with two of the festival's artistic directors.

The prestigious Cannes festival has come under criticism for failing to showcase more films by women directors. In the years since, she noted, 1,688 male directors have made the same trek.

The protest took place ahead of the premiere of "Girls of the Sun" by Eva Husson, one of only three women out of 21 directors in the running for the Palme d'Or.

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

This is the first Cannes festival since allegations of sexual abuse were first made against producer Harvey Weinstein previous year.

Other film festivals have more aggressively pursued gender parity, including the Tribeca Film Festival, which touted its percentage of female filmmakers - 46 percent - last month.

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