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

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Cate Blanchett Michael B Jordan and Marion Cotillard make appearances on Day 6

The trio and French actress Lea Seydoux, who are all members of the jury at this year's event, with Cate acting as president, oversaw proceedings as Cannes director Thierry Fremaux and his colleagues Edouard Waintrop, Charles Tesson and Paolo Moretti formally promised to promote equality and greater inclusivity. 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.

"Today at Cannes, 82 women in film climbed the steps of the Palais in silence and stopped halfway to raise awareness about the fact that in the Cannes Film Festival's 71-year history, there have been just 82 women directors to climb the stairs (compared to 1,688 male directors), and to call for #5050by2020", the organisation stated on its social media pages.

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.

"The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all", she concluded.

Several protestors including Stewart made a strong fashion statement by donning suits and tuxedos, in a show of defiance to Cannes' red-carpet dress code which is often denounced as sexist.

The protest was meant to highlight the difficulties for women in Hollywood "to climb the social and professional ladder" and also to urge a safer workplace for all, seven months after the New York Times expose on disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of rape and sexual harassment.

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The protest was held ahead of the premiere of French filmmaker Eva Husson's "Girls of the Sun", which is about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers.

"Several members of the global film festival of India, Goa were present at Cannes this year". The Swiss brand is the official partner of the event and brings to Cannes 71 unique pieces to represent the 71st edition of the Festival.

Blanchett has criticised Cannes for once again failing to invite more female directors.

The signing of the pledge coincided with 2018 jury head Blanchett's birthday.

Only seven per cent of Hollywood blockbusters were directed by women in 2016.

Once these guidelines are implemented, the festival should organically see a sharp uptick in films directed by women.

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