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.
The pledge was drawn up by the French gender-parity group 50/50 by 2020, which brought in other groups including Time’s Up.
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.
“Women are not a minority in the world, and yet our industry says the opposite,” Blanchett said from the top of the Palais steps, alongside French filmmaker Agnes Varda.
Only 82 female directors have competed for the top Palme d’Or prize since 1946 compared with nearly 1,700 male directors.
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.
Monday’s pledge also calls for the festival to compile statistics breaking down the gender of filmmakers and major crew members for all films submitted to Cannes. Fremaux said that 1,900 movies were submitted this year.