Women were the talk of the Cannes Film Festival for more than just their red carpet dresses this year as the year of uprising continues from the Golden Globes to the Golden Riviera. 82 women walked the red carpet in silence to make a statement about gender inequality in the film industry, but who was there and why? Here is everything you need to know about the year of the women at Cannes Film Festival 2018.
5050 in 2020, a collective dedicated to improving the gender disparity within the film industry, is responsible for organizing the symbol of solidarity. Familiar Hollywood superstars lead this silent demonstration, looking as fierce as the statement they were making. Lea Seydoux, Khadja Nin, and Ava DuVernay were present, and even names like Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart. Stewart is no stranger to making a statement in Cannes, remember last years posing for photos with no shoes on? The Oscar-winning actress Blanchette not only headed the jury for the Palme d’Or but also read out a statement by 5050 in 2020 as a conclusion to the women’s movement, which crowned her in the eyes of many as the queen of the festival. Seen at the closing ceremony in an Alexander McQueen tuxedo dress she clearly dressed for the part.
Whats it all about?
Despite women making up 50% of the population, in the last 71 years of the Cannes Film Festival, only 82 female-directed films have played out for competition against a whopping 1645 male-directed films. With only three out of the 21 directors in the running for this year’s Palme D’ore award being female, that huge disparity seemingly wasn’t decreasing in 2018. But these fierce female’s were not going to let this continue, and their protest resulted in festival director Thierry Fremaux vowing at a press conference that Cannes would, in future, look into selecting a higher proportion of films directed by women. Fremaux, the French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen, and Time’s Up representatives will be present at a 5050 in 2020 event to announce further and more tangible initiatives. Progress to say the least!
Watch Our Favourite Female Lead Film of the Festival
Perhaps the best way to support the movement is to celebrate the amazingly talented female lead films of the festival (though few they may be). French director Eva Husson’s ‘Girls of the Sun’ premiered at Cannes on 12th May in the running for the Palme d’Or and we can see why. Set in Kurdistan, the film is a true depiction of girl power as it follows the story of a commander (played by Golshifteh Farahani alongside co-star and Cannes best actress winner Emmanuelle Bercot) who leads an all-female battalion in preparation to liberate her hometown from the grip of extremists. Highly emotive, beautifully shot and incredibly relevant, the film pays homage to the Yazidi survivors with an all-female cast and crew. This really is a feisty and feminine drama that will grip you until the end.