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Cannes festival organizers sign pact for gender parity
14 May 2018, 08:09 | Elsie Buchanan
Marion Cotillard at the premiere of the film 3 Faces. AP Marion Cotillard at the premiere of the film 3 Faces. AP
"We hope that Cannes will welcome these new initiatives", said Fremaux.
Only 82 female directors have ever competed for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, since 1946 compared with nearly 1,700 male directors.
The number of women on the steps, 82, represents the women who have directed films that have been honoured up by Cannes Film Festival, compared to 1,866, the number of men who have done the same. Blanchett read a statement atop the Palais steps in English; Varda read it in French.
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. "We hope that it will reinforce the realization that the world is not the same anymore". The 2018 festival has 21 directors in competition but only three are women: Eve Husson ("Girls of the Sun"), Nadine Labaki ("Capernaum"), and Alice Rohrwacher ("Lazarro Felice").
A meeting between the Indian delegation and Ms. Isabelle Giordano, Director General, Unifrance, M. Loïc Wong, Director of International Department, CNC, France along with Ms. Valérie L'Epine-Karnik, CEO, Film France was held to explore co-production opportunities between India and France.
Its key commitments include the compilation of statistics to record the gender of the filmmakers and key crew of all submissions; a promise to improve transparency around selection processes by publicly listing the members of its selection and programming committees, and to work towards parity on their executive boards.
Arms linked together, the women took it in turns to climb the steps halfway before standing in silent protest. Studies have shown that women directed 11 percent of the 250 most popular movies at the US and Canada box office in 2017 a figure only slightly above the same metric 20 years ago.
Cannes Director Thierry Fremaux signed the pledge along with Edouard Waintrop and Charles Tesson, two of Cannes' artistic directors.
Other film festivals have more aggressively pursued gender parity, including the Tribeca Film Festival, which touted its percentage of female filmmakers 46 percent last month. The attendees broke into a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for the Hollywood actress after the signing.
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