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Cannes film festival announces a female-majority jury

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Susan Devaney
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After being criticised for its lack of female representation, this year’s jury at Cannes film festival will host a female-majority line-up. 

The Cannes film festival is undoubtedly a prominent fixture in the film industry. But underneath all of the glitz and glam it offers up, the festival is a showcase for talent, which is why it is important women are fairly represented at it.

So, you’ll be happy to hear the news that this year’s full competition jury line-up has been announced and for the first time since 2014, it’ll host a female-majority line-up.

The jury, headed up by Cate Blanchett, will feature A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay and actress Kristen Stewart, along with French actress Léa Seydoux and musician Khadja Nin. And directors Denis Villeneuve and Chang Chen, and French film-maker Robert Guédiguian and director Andrey Zvyagintsev.

The announcement comes after the festival drew heavy criticism for its lack of female directors in official competition this year. Only three of 17 films up for the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, have been made by women.

And the major change is down to actress Jessica Chastain. While serving on the festival’s jury in France in 2017, Chastain challenged the industry’s lack of female representation.

“I do hope that when we include more female storytellers we will have more of the kinds of women that I recognise in my day-to-day life,” Chastain said. “Ones that are proactive, have their own agencies, don’t just react to the men around them, they have their own point of view.”

And it’s paid off as it inspired the festival’s organisers to add more women to the line-up, in every way possible.

“We are equalising the proportion of women staffing the festival and within our selection committees, which is important: last year, Jessica Chastain, who was on the jury, made me understand the importance of the ‘female gaze’ during the selection process,” Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s director, recently told Variety.

We can’t wait to see what these ladies bring to the table.

The Cannes film festival opens on 8 May.

Images: Getty