Cate Blanchett led a Cannes red carpet women's march

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Cate Blanchett Michael B Jordan and Marion Cotillard make appearances on Day 6

During the Inaugural address, Prasoon Joshi, Writer, Poet and Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification India said that we should also reach out to young filmmakers who might not have access to a festival like Cannes and should organize many mini Cannes film festivals all around the world to help more and more filmmakers. "In the same period, 1,688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs".

The number of women taking part is the same as the number of films directed by women to have been selected to feature at Cannes in its more than seven-decade history.

The pledge, dubbed the "Programming Pledge for Parity and Inclusion in Cinema Festivals", was signed May 14 during an Cannes event hosted by 5050×2020, the French women's group behind the red carpet protest for gender equality earlier in the festival. "We hope that it will reinforce the realization that the world is not the same anymore".

"Women are not a minority in the world, and yet our industry says the opposite", Blanchett said from the top of the Palais steps, alongside French filmmaker Agnes Varda.

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A meeting between the Indian delegation and Ms. Isabelle Giordano, Director General, Unifrance, M. Loïc Wong, Director of International Department, CNC, France along with Ms. Valérie L'Epine-Karnik, CEO, Film France was held to explore co-production opportunities between India and France.

Included in the protest were the likes of Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart and Patty Jenkins, all of whom stood on the steps with their hands linked prior to a screening of director Eva Husson's Girls of the Sun, a film about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers.

Monday's pledge also calls for the festival to compile statistics breaking down the gender of filmmakers and major crew members for all films submitted to Cannes.

One woman director, Jane Campion, won Cannes' Palme d'Or award for "The Piano" in 1993.

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In the past, Fremaux had gone on record supporting affirmative-action-style moves to increase the number of women involved in the process, but had opposed the enforcement of any kind of gender bias in the selection of films for the festival. Studies have shown that women directed 11 percent of the 250 most popular movies at the USA and Canada box office in 2017 — a figure only slightly above the same metric 20 years ago.

Cannes became the first film festival to sign the pledge but it is expected to be followed by others.

At the end of the signing ceremony, the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to Cate Blanchett, who was in attendance.

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