Cannes 2018: Watch Cate Blanchett's impassioned speech for gender equality

'The stairs our industry must be accessible to all. Let’s climb'

Jack Shepherd
Monday 14 May 2018 09:03
Comments
Cate Blanchett addresses crowd as 82 women walk the red carpet in Cannes film festival protest

Standing atop the steps of Cannes Film Festival, Cate Blanchett delivered a stunning speech on gender equality.

The actor – who currently serves as Cannes jury president – was joined by 81 other women in the film industry, each person representing one of the 82 female directors who have previously climbed those steps.

That number, as pointed out by Blanchett, pales in comparison to the 1,688 male directors who have made the same journey since the festival started in 1942. She also noted how the Palme d’Or, the festival’s most prestigious award, has been bestowed on 71 male directors but only two female directors.

“Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise,” she said, standing besides fellow jurors Ava DuVernay, Kristen Stewart, and Léa Seydoux, while famous French director Agnes Varda translated the statement.

“As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination and our commitment to progress. We are writers, we are producers, we are directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents, and all of us are involved in the cinematic arts. And we stand today in solidarity with women of all industries.”

She continued: “We expect our institutions to actively provide parity and transparency in their executive bodies and provide safe environments in which to work. We expect our governments to make sure that the laws of equal pay for equal work are upheld. We demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so that they best reflect the world in which we actually live, a world that allows all of us in front and behind the camera, all of us, to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues.

“And we acknowledge all of the men and women standing around the world for change. The stairs our industry must be accessible to all. Let’s climb.”

The march – which was organised by Time’s Up – then erupted into cheers and was followed by the premiere of Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun.

This year’s Cannes line-up has been criticised for lacking female-directed films; only three of those showing in competition were directed by women, the festival’s best showing since 2011.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in