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Kristen Stewart Marches for Equality at Cannes Film Festival

Kristen Stewart Marches for Equality at Cannes Film Festival

Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, president of the Cannes Film Festival jury, led dozens of women who work in the movie industry up the stairs of the iconic Palais des Festivals theater Saturday to promote equality for women in film in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

The demonstration, organized by a French women's group, assembled major Hollywood stars, including Salma Hayek, Kristen Stewart, Jane Fonda and Marion Cotillard, directors and industry executives.

The number of stars, filmmakers and film industry professionals on the steps represented the number of female filmmakers who have been selected to compete at Cannes during the festival's seven-decade history.

"Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise", Blanchett said. "Let's climb", Blanchett declared, with some of the rally's participants visibly moved.

On Monday, Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux will take part in a conference on gender inequality hosted by France's culture minister Françoise Nyssen, and including France's national film body CNC, Time's Up US, and other pro-equality organizations from UK, Italy, and Spain, among other countries.

The actors, directors, writers, producers, and distributors stood half way up the red carpet as a symbol of the challenges women face to climb the industry ladder.

In the Instagram snap she is wearing a cropped blue striped shirt over a black crop top, a black and white striped skirt with a thigh-high split and thigh-high black patent high-heeled boots.

"An honour to share the carpet with @Ava (DuVernay) and all the other women who are pushing for more opportunities for women", she said in a tweet after the march.

The protest was held ahead of the premiere of French filmmaker Eva Husson's 'Girls of the Sun, ' which is about a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers.

In response, the festival set up an anti-harassment hotline this year.

"What emerged in Cannes must be fought in Cannes", Marlene Schiappa, France's secretary of state in charge of gender equality, told French television on Tuesday.

Cheryl has shared a photo from her sun-drenched balcony in Cannes.

Blanchett has criticised Cannes for once again failing to invite more female directors. Only three of the 18 films in competition this year are from female filmmakers - Cannes' best showing since 2011.

The shadow of Harvey Weinstein is also looming over this year's Cannes.

Chastain caused a stir on Thursday when she revealed that she planned to make Hollywood's first big-budget all-female blockbuster with a cast including Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong'o.

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