Cannes Film Festival bosses sign gender equality pledge


Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux reportedly joined others Monday in signing a new campaign to improve gender parity at international film festivals.

Fremaux, Directors’ Fortnight artistic director Edouard Waintrop, and Critics’ Week head Charles Tesson are said to be the first to sign the document, titled the Programming Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in Cinema Festivals.

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It’s been drawn up by the movement 50/50 by 2020, which was started this spring and spearheaded by Le Deuxieme Regard.

The festival chiefs were said to have met with gender-parity groups from five different countries in Cannes, and now aim to reach out to additional film festivals around the world.

READ MORE: Cate Blanchett leads star-studded women’s march at Cannes: ‘The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all’

Jury members Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Ava DuVernay were also on hand to witness the signing, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

According to Screen Daily, the movement hopes to “eliminate any suspicion of a lack of diversity and parity while allowing the festivals to fully pursue their editorial and strategic choices” with the signing of the document.

The site also states that other gender equality movements in the post-#MeToo era will be getting involved, including Time’s Up, Italy’s Dissenso Comute, and the Greek Women’s Wave.

READ MORE: The Cannes selfie ban isn’t working

It’s thought that a three-day international conference for equality will take place in Paris at the end of June.

The latest news comes after Blanchett led an extraordinary women’s march in Cannes over the weekend; the actress was joined by 81 female actors and executives on the steps of the red carpet during the screening of Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil).

The number of women symbolizes the fact that, in the festival’s 71-year history, only 82 films in competition in the official selection have been directed by women — a stark comparison to the more than 1,600 films in competition that were directed by men.

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