Cate Blanchett Leads Women's March on Cannes Red Carpet: "We Stand Together"
On May 12, Cate Blanchett, this year's Cannes film festival jury president, led a group of women in a march for gender equality before a screening of Eva Husson's Girls of the Sun. The 82 women participating, including directors and actors Ava DuVernay, Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Patty Jenkins, Agnes Varda, and Salma Hayek, gathered to climb the steps of the Palais in Cannes. The 82 women represented the same number of female directors who have been celebrated at Cannes since 1942, a small number in comparison to the 1,866 male directors who have participated in the main competition. According to Variety, Blanchett delivered a statement on the red carpet, calling out the industry for the minor representation of women.
"As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress," Blanchett said. "We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents, and all involved in the cinematic arts."
This 2018 march comes just a year after Jessica Chastain's comments at Cannes, seeking more female representation in the industry, and on the tail of the Me Too and Time's Up movements. It was organized by the new movement 5050×2020, which specifically seeks to equalize directorial boards and achieve further gender equality.
"The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all," 89-year-old director Varda said, following Blanchett's statement. "Let's climb."