Women take over the red carpet at Cannes

Asghar Farhadi Everybody Knows

Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay are set to lead a major protest on the Cannes red carpet to spotlight the festival's lack of female directors throughout its 71-year history.

'We are 82 women, representing the number of female directors who have walked these stairs since the first official Cannes festival in 1946, ' said Cate.

Blanchett and Varda read the group's statement in English and French respectively, and emphasized the need for a cinema whose demographics more accurately reflect the world's.

The intention, organisers say, is to express how hard it still is to climb the social and professional ladder as woman in the film industry. "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".


The silent, symbolic protest will be held ahead of the premiere of French filmmaker Eva Husson's "Girls of the Sun", which is about a Kurdish battalion of entirely female soldiers. The other two - Nadine Labaki's "Capernaum", and Alice Rohrwacher's "Happy as Lazzaro" - are to premiere next week.

This comes after numerous similar protests at awards shows this year.

Among those expected Saturday are Salma Hayek, Jane Fonda, "Wonder Woman" filmmaker Patty Jenkins and the French director Agnes Varda, a recipient of an honorary Palme d'Or prize.

Festival Director Thierry Fremaux has called selfie-taking "grotesque" and said they interrupt the elegance of the prestigious red carpet, lined by photographers. Arriving at the film festival as part of her partnership with L'Oréal makeup, she attended the premier for Ash Is The Purest White - and the singer's incredible dress was by Lebanese designer Zuhair Midas. But he's also signaled that the festival is reanalyzing its procedures and is making its selection committees gender balanced.

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