Cannes film festival vows parity push for women

Cannes (France) (AFP) –


The Cannes film festival signed a charter Monday vowing to push for parity between men and women by 2020.

The world's top festival also promised to be more transparent in its selection process after facing years of criticism over the lack of women directors in its main competition.

Hollywood stars including Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayek and Cate Blanchett -- who heads the Cannes jury this year -- led a protest of actresses, producers and women directors on the red carpet Saturday calling for equality in the industry.

Only 82 female directors have competed for the top Palme d'Or prize since 1946 compared with nearly 1,700 male directors.

And only one has won it -- Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993.

This year only three out of the 21 directors in the running are women.

But Cannes director Thierry Fremaux and the heads of the parallel Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week sections promised Monday to make their selection committees transparent "to rule out any suspicion of a lack of diversity or parity" between the sexes.

They urged other international film festivals to follow suit.