Cannes film fest chiefs sign gender equality charter

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

5/6 Marion Cotillard at the premiere of the film 3 Faces. AP Marion Cotillard at the premiere of the film 3 Faces. AP

Filmmaker Rohena Gera, who was among the 82 women who protested against gender gap at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, says it was a very moving experience to express solidarity against the "barriers" that women face across the world in different ways.

"We must question our history and our habits", the Cannes festival director added, calling on other global film festivals to follow suit.

She added that 71 male directors have received the Palme d'Or, the most prestigious award of the festival.

Eighty-two women took to the red carpet in protest this past weekend over the low number of female filmmakers in competition at the world's biggest film festival.

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The pledge was drawn up by the French gender-parity group 50/50 by 2020, which brought in other groups including Time's Up.

In her remarks, Blanchett explained the significance of the number 82. Saturday's protest came ahead of the premiere of Eva Husson's Girls of the Sun, which is about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers.

For reference, this year's Cannes Film Festival only has three films from female directors competing in a pool of 18.

Cannes has been criticized over the years for the gender imbalance in films selected for screening at the festival. It's also a freewheeling marketplace for movie deals, and a place of parties and excess that for years served as a commercial and recreational playground for the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

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

That glorious feeling of ditching your high heels and sinking into the carpet with your bare feet?

After the signing, filmmaker Rebecca Zlotowski noted it was Blanchett's birthday, and attendees serenaded the actress with a rendition of Happy Birthday.

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