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Cannes director Thierry Fremaux signed the pledge on Monday in a packed tent on the Cannes beach, along with two of the festival's artistic directors. We hope that it will reinforce the realisation that the world is not the same anymore. This is just one likely reason that the Time's Up movement and a French movement named 5050x2020, representing the advocacy for 50/50 representation by 2020, organized this demonstration. In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs.

Cate Blanchett and Agn├Ęs Varda led a women's march on the Cannes red carpet.

Since the launch of the Cannes Film Festival, only 82 films directed by women have been honoured by an official selection in competition, compared to 1,645 films directed by men, a ratio of less than five per cent.

This year, there are three female directors vying for the Palme d'Or: Nadine Labaki, Alice Rohrwacher and Eva Husson, the French filmmaker whose "Girls of the Sun" premiered Saturday immediately after the red carpet protest.

Cannes has come under repeated criticism in recent years over its poor record of selecting female filmmakers.

Jane Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d'Or, for her 1993 film "The Piano". According to ScreenDaily, the pledge calls for Cannes to push for parity on their executive boards, compile statistics on the gender of the filmmakers and key crew members for all films submitted to the festival, and increase selection transparency by making the names of selection committee members public. "You come across a set of absolutely ripe and ready opportunities to grow global partnerships between the Indian film industry and the cultural and thought streams prevailing outside India", said Mr. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Indian Ambassador to France inaugurating the pavilion. Without Thierry Fremaux saying yes to the pledge, without saying yes to the stairs, we wouldn't be here.

In the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the theme of the festival was clear from the get-go - taking a stand against the mistreatment of women, from female jury members wearing black to the Cannes opening ceremony, to actresses and female directors taking to the red carpet to shut down sexist questions.

"Films like Tamasha and Befikre were shot extensively in this part of the world", she added further. The attendees broke into a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for the Hollywood actress after the signing.


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