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

Cate Blanchett, Agnès Varda, Ava DuVernay, Jane Fonda, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart, and Patty Jenkins were seven of 82 women in the film industry who stood on the Palais steps at the prestigious 2018 Cannes Film Festival to take a stand for gender equality in the industry and to demand better treatment for women in Hollywood.

82 actors, film-makers, and film industry professionals were chosen to represent the 82 female directors who have proudly shown their work at the Cannes Film Festival since its inception in 1942. In those same years, 1,866 male directors have done the same.

Arms linked together, the women took it in turns to climb the steps halfway before standing in silent protest.

Leading the protest, Blanchett said in a collective statement:

“In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival there have been 12 female heads of its juries. The prestigious Palme d’or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors – too numerous
to mention by name – but only two women – Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit, and Agnès Varda who stands with us today. These facts are stark and undeniable. Women are Not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise. 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. We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts.”

Blanchett shared the speech with Agnès Varda – one of the most celebrated French film directors in the industry who has spent decades using her platform and art to discuss feminist issues within society.

Varda, repeating Blanchett’s words in French said:

“We stand in solidarity with women of all industries. We WILL EXPECT our institutions to actively provide parity and transparency in their executive bodies and safe environments in which to work. We WILL EXPECT our governments to make sure that the laws of equal pay for equal work are upheld. We WILL DEMAND that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so that they can best reflect the world in which we actually live. A world that allows all of us behind and in front of the camera to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues.”

“WE ACKNOWLEDGE all of the women AND men who are standing for change. The stairs of our industry MUST be accessible to all. Let’s climb.”

These are the names of the 82 women who marched at the festival:

5050 2020 Cannes.

The march was a part of the 5050 2020 In Cannes movement where on the 14 May, there will be a signing of a Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in cinema festivals. The pledge will be signed by Thierry Frémaux, the general delegate of the Cannes Festival, Edouard Waintrop, the artistic director of Director’s Fortnight, and Charles Tesson, the artistic director of Critic’s week.

You can learn more about it HERE.