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Lupita Nyong’o and #MeToo Cannes Cannes

Kenyan actress and Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o over the weekend dazzled the ongoing annual 71st Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. While the Black Panther star skipped the recent Catholicism-themed Met Gala, she didn’t hesitate to provide us with fashion inspiration as she took to the red carpet.

But fashion wasn’t the only thing that took centre-stage. The #MeToo movement took stole the spotlight over the weekend as Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Patty Jenkins and other female filmmakers and artists gathered together to agitate for better treatment of women in the movie business.

There were 82 women in total, a reference to the number of female directors who have climbed the steps of the Palais, the festival’s central theatre, since Cannes began celebrating celluloid in 1942.

In the same period, 1,866 male directors ascended the same stairs, Blanchett said in a statement, as the women linked their arms in solidarity. The Oscar-winning actress and Cannes jury head was flanked by Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux, and Salma Hayek.

“On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946.

In the same period 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival there have been 12 female heads of its juries.

The prestigious Palme d’Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors – too numerous to mention by name – but only two women – Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit, and Agnès Varda who stands with us today,” Blanchett said.

She went on to add: “Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise. As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress.

We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts.”

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