AceShowbiz - One hundred women will grace the Cannes Film Festival red carpet on Saturday as a symbolic show of strength. A-listers, filmmakers and festival representatives will take to the famous Cannes red carpet at weekend for as part of a symbolic gesture to "affirm their presence", according to event boss Thierry Fremaux, who announced the big news at a press conference on Monday, May 7.
He and other executives behind the annual movie gathering, held on the French Riviera, are planning to make this year's event a female-friendly one, setting up a telephone hotline for victims of sexual harassment and abuse to report their experiences - and on Monday, May 07, Fremaux and his team instituted even more sweeping changes in a bid to help support gender equality.
"We want to keep pace with a world that's changing," Fremaux explained during the impromptu press conference. "It isn't just the Cannes Film Festival that's going to change. The whole world has changed".
Thierry's efforts to make the film festival more gender inclusive include improving the male-to-female ratios on selection committees, installing more women into the role of jury president, and selecting more films directed by women for competition.
His scheme is off to a great start in the festival's 71st year, with actress Cate Blanchett serving as jury president at this month's event, but only three of the 21 films in competition for the coveted Palme d'Or prize have been directed by females - and only one woman, Jane Campion, has ever earned the Palme d'Or trophy.
"The cinema has always been in the hands of men," Fremaux continued. "There will be more and more (female filmmakers) in the future".
The 2018 Cannes Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday, May 08.