Cannes festival organizers sign pact for gender parity

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

Rather than demanding a certain percentage of films directed by women, according to Screen Daily, the pledge calls for festivals to push for parity on their executive boards, compile statistics on the gender of the filmmakers and key crew members for all submitted films, and increase the transparency of the selection process by publicly announcing selection committee members. The same groups were behind a rally on the red carpet on Saturday, where 82 women, including Cate, Ava, Kristen and Lea, as well as Jane Fonda, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek, and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, walked in silence along the red carpet before stopping halfway up the steps to the entrance to the Palais des Festivals. 82 women including Blanchett who is president of the jury and Stewart took part in the protest to signify the 82 female directors (7 of whom were part of mixed gender teams) that have premiered at the festival since 1946 compared to 1,645 male directors.

The event was an about-face from festival director Thierry Fremaux, who said earlier this year that it was not Cannes' role to "organize #MeToo events ... because we don't have the skills or legitimacy to do so".

"Women are not a minority in the world, and yet our industry says the opposite", Blanchett said from the top of the Palais steps, alongside French filmmaker Agnes Varda.

In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival there have been 12 female heads of its juries. "The world has changed". This is just one likely reason that the Time's Up movement and a French movement named 5050x2020, representing the advocacy for 50/50 representation by 2020, organized this demonstration. In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. "We must question our history and our habits".

Cannes Film Festival chiefs have made a pledge for gender parity and inclusion.

Cannes has been criticized over the years for the gender imbalance in films selected for screening at the festival.