Eighty-two women locked arms to march up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday night to protest the lack of gender equality at the festival. That number, 82, was significant to the group's message.
"Eighty-two women have had films in competition at Cannes since the festival was started. That's less than five percent of the films that have played at Cannes. So the thinking was to draw attention to the starkness of that statistic," said Rebecca Keegan, who was at the festival, reporting for Vanity Fair.
This year there are three films at Cannes with women directors. The protest was held before the premiere of the only film directed by a French woman, Eva Husson’s "Girls of the Sun."
The women involved were well-known actors and directors like Cate Blanchett and Ava DuVernay, as well as agents and producers.
This striking display was not the only mention of gender equality in the movie industry at Cannes. Hollywood stars and women from international groups like 5050X2020, the French movement to increase gender equality in film, used the festival as an occasion to speak up about the lack of women behind the camera in their countries.
- The Cannes artistic and festival directors signed a pledge to improve the representation of women at the festival.
- The Jessica Chastain spy thriller, "355," made a splash at Cannes with a female-led, star-studded cast.
- Saudi Arabia is using tax incentives to bring more film crews to the country and grow its budding movie industry.