"The prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors, too numerous to mention by name but only two female directors, Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit and the wonderful Agnès Varda who stand with us today. These facts are stark and undeniable."
"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 agent, 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."
12. Cutaway camera operator
13. Various of Eighty two film industry professionals clapping and holding hands in the air
14. Tilt down from front of Palais des Festivals to wide of women clapping on the steps
82 WOMEN WALK THE RED CARPET IN CANNES FILM FEST PROTEST
Eighty-two women climbed the steps of the Palais des Festivals at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday (12 MAY 2018) in an unprecedented red carpet protest to press for improved gender equality in the film industry.
The number of stars, filmmakers and film industry professionals ascending the steps represented the number of female filmmakers who have been selected to compete at Cannes during the festival's seven-decade history.
In contrast to their 82, 1,866 films directed by men have been picked for the prestigious festival lineup.
Organizers said the event was orchestrated by the Time's Up movement and the French movement known as 5020x2020 to show "how hard it is still to climb the social and professional ladder" for women.
It brought an array of film industry professionals to the Cannes red carpet, including actresses Salma Hayek and Jane Fonda, "Wonder Woman" filmmaker Patty Jenkins and French director Agnes Varda, a recipient of an honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Also joining were the five female members of this year's Cannes jury: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux and Burundian singer Khadja Nin. Blanchett read a statement atop the Palais steps in English; Varda read it in French.
The protest was held ahead of the premiere of French filmmaker Eva Husson's "Girls of the Sun," which is about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers. Husson is one of three female filmmakers out of the 21 movies in competition for the Palme d'Or this year.
The other two — Nadine Labaki's "Capernaum," and Alice Rohrwacher's "Happy as Lazzaro" — are to premiere next week.
Cannes has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years over the number of female directors selected into its main slate, considered one of the most esteemed achievements in cinema. Jane Campion is the only female filmmaker to ever win the Palme.
The festival supported Saturday's protest. Festival director Thierry Fremaux earlier this week hailed Saturday's event as a way for women "to affirm their presence."
Fremaux has repeatedly insisted that the festival chooses its films purely based on quality. But he's also signaled that the festival is reanalyzing its procedures and making its selection committees gender-balanced.