Cannes festival organisers vow to improve gender equality

82 women took to the red carpet in protest this past weekend over the low number of female filmmakers in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Filmmakers, actresses and producers listen to Australian actress and President of the Jury Cate Blanchett read a statement on the red carpet in protest of the lack of female filmmakers honoured throughout the history of the festival at the screening of 'Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil)' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on 12 May 2018 in Cannes, southeastern France. Picture: AFP.

NEW YORK - The organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have pledged to improve gender equality by signing a promise to make their selection process more transparent.

Eighty-two women took to the red carpet in protest this past weekend over the low number of female filmmakers in competition at the world’s biggest film festival.

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.

It was drawn up by French gender parity movement 5050x2020, which also spearheaded Saturday protest.

Fremaux says they hope this pledge reinforces the realisation that the world has changed and that our history and habits must be questioned. It’s believed the pledge will be rolled out to other festivals around the world in the coming months.

Its key commitments include the compilation of statistics to record the gender of the filmmakers and key crew of all submissions.