A group of 82 women protested on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for better representation of women in film.
While Cate Blanchett led the charge on Saturday, she was backed by Ava DuVernay, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayek, and more.
The 82 women represented the 82 female directors whose films have been screened at Cannes since it launched in 1946. In that time, 1,688 male directors have had films show at the festival. Blanchett views these figures as “stark and undeniable,” per Buzzfeed News. Blanchett also acts as president of the festival’s jury this year.
She and French director Agnès Varda both gave a speech in English and French at the Palais des Festivals, demanding equal pay, safer work environments, and diversity “behind and in front of the camera.”
“Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise,” they both 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,” they continued. “We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts.”
The French film industry movement 5050x2020—which focuses on gender equality in film—teamed up with the group of women. 5050x2020’s message is loud and clear on its website, where it asks for equal pay, employment, and “directorial boards by 2020.” The organization is also behind #MeToo and #TimesUp.
“While French cinema wasn’t shaken by the Weinstein shock wave, it is essential that we move to take concrete action reaching beyond the issue of sexual abuse alone,” the website states.
“We believe that the distribution of power needs to be questioned,” the site adds, “We believe that equality restores the balance of power. We believe that diversity deeply changes representations. We believe that the opportunity to work in an egalitarian and inclusive environment must be seized because we are certain that the equal sharing of power will promote profound creative renewal.”