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Cate Blanchette Leads a Women's March at the Cannes Film Festival

Cate Blanchette Leads a Women's March at the Cannes Film Festival

Cate Blanchette Leads a Women's March at the Cannes Film Festival
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

82 women including Ava DuVernay, Kristen Stewart and Salma Hayek took the steps of the Palais.

Female representation and agency in Hollywood is an industry-wide issue that has finally been given a greater focus in the age of #MeToo, and at this year's Cannes film festival, Cate Blanchett led a women's march to spotlight how far the industry still has to go.

Blanchett, who serves as the festival's jury president, led a march of 82 women up the steps of the iconic Palais Saturday night, the number sybolizing the amount of women who have been featured in the festival's 71-year history.

Blanchett was joined by fellow jury members Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek, Leila Bekhti, Sofia Bouterra, Patty Jenkins and Agnes Varda. Varda joined Blanchett to read a statement honoring the women that have been honored at Cannes and demanding that the festival do to better to represent women in the future.

"On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946. In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. 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 Agnes Varda who stands with us today," said Blanchett.

"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. We stand in solidarity with women of all industries," they continued.

"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."

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