Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay are set to lead a major protest on the Cannes red carpet to spotlight the festival’s lack of female directors throughout its 71-year history. According to ScreenDaily, Stewart and DuVernay will join 82 female industry members, including Agnes Varda, during the May 12 protest.
The protest is being organized by 5050×2020, a French cinema gender equality movement. DuVernay, Stewart, and others will make a silent walk on the red carpet on the evening of May 12. The group plans to stop and face the Palais des Festival in silence to show “how hard it is for women to climb the professional ladder in the cinema world.”
Cannes’ lack of women directors in Competition has been one of the festival’s biggest problems for decades. ScreenDaily estimates that in the 71 years of the Cannes Film Festival, only 82 films have been directed by women. Male directors have contributed to 1,645 films. The 2018 festival has 21 directors competing for the Palme d’Or and only three are women: Eve Husson (“Girls of the Sun”), Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”), and Alice Rohrwacher (“Lazarro Felice”).
Both Stewart and DuVernay are members of the Cannes Competition jury this year. Cate Blanchett is serving as President.