Will Change Ever Really Come?

A total of 82 female film professionals linked arms on the steps of the Palais while Cate Blanchett, this year’s jury president, read out an impassioned statement. The numbers were significant.

In the 71 editions of the Cannes Festival, just 82 women have competed for the Palme d’Or. (Do the maths and you’ll conclude that this year’s total of three is significantly above the pitiful average.)

In contrast, 1,866 men have had their films in competition. Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux, and Salma Hayek stood on the highest step with Blanchett. “Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise,” she said.

“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.”

The protest comes after accusations that Cannes has not reacted forcefully enough to the #metoo scandal. A change is gonna come.

This article first appeared as a tweet from David Clarke for the Irish Times. Photo is by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP.