This year, the Cannes Film Festival is trying to make amends. Despite all the progress women have made in the entertainment industry over the years, only one woman has ever received the highest honor from the festival, the Palme d'Or (Jane Campion in 1993 for her film The Piano). Last year, Sofia Coppola won the award for Best Director, but that made her only the first woman to have been given the prize a the festival since 1961. In fact, out of 268 filmmakers who have won Cannes’ top three awards, eleven of them have been women.
This is a system-wide problem. Lack of female winners can be blamed on the lack of women making movies which can be blamed on the lack of opportunities given to them at a young age and so on. We can't snap our fingers and fix the problem, but Cannes did the next closest thing by making a majority women jury for this year's festival, with Cate Blanchett as the president.
The festival only opened on May 8, and already, the women of the jury (Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux, Ava DuVernay, and Khadja Nin) are proving they mean business. All of them have crucial roles in the entertainment world, and now their voices will get the platform they've always deserved, and hopefully start shaping Cannes in the right, more equal, direction.
Check out the photos of these awesome women ahead, and hear about the ways they're already changing the festival.
Read These Stories Next: