A-list actresses stand together in protest at Cannes film festival

Women protest for equality at Cannes Festival.
Women protest for equality at Cannes Festival. Photo credit: Reuters

Female actresses and filmmakers have marched the stairs of the Cannes festival to protest against gender discrimination in the film industry.

The march was not only for pay equity, but to criticise the festival itself, which doesn't showcase many films by women, compared to men.

Amongst the group of eighty-two women were Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Jane Fonda.

The number of women who marched is said to represent the number of female directors who have had films shown at Cannes, and climbed the same stairs, since the beginning of the festival in 1946.

Actress Cate Blanchett told BBC that the prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors, too numerous to mention by name, but only two female.

The protest follows a period of uproar for the film industry after a flurry of allegations of sexual harassment.

This is also the first Cannes since Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse allegations and the #MeToo movement.

Cannes has set up an anti-harassment hotline this year and French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa told BBC it had received "several calls" since the gathering began on May 9.

The march ended with a statement from Cate Blanchett, who asked for better working conditions for women and for governments across the world to pay women equally to their male counterparts.