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Hollywood Stars To Stage Sexual Assault Protest On Cannes Red Carpet

"Actresses: don't answer that because you have no idea how to answer that question!"

The Russian maker of such classics as "The Return" and "Leviathan" is regarded as one of the greatest directors in the world at the moment, with his last film "Loveless" the critics' favourite for the Palme d'Or previous year.

"It's not a political film festival", she replied, insisting that all films will be judged exclusively on their artistic merits.

The jury will be chaired by Australian Oscar victor Cate Blanchett and include Kristen Stewart, star of the Twilight films. "Not through generalizations and not through confrontations". "It's addressing the gender gap and the racial diversity and the equality and the way we make our work".

Jessica Chastain, an actress and regular attendee of the French Riviera festival, past year reflected on her time spent on the Cannes jury shortly after they selected Ruben Ostlund's The Square as the Palme d'Or victor.

Cannes has previously come under fire for not awarding the Palme to more women.

Von Trier was the director of Bjork's only film to date - 2000 Palme d'Or recipient Dancer in the Dark. She admitted that she would want to see more women directors but the change can't happen overnight.

"Do I think it will happen more in the future?" Blanchett said with a raised eyebrow to fellow jury members Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart (an actress who has recently moved into directing).

And the task of picking a Palme victor won't be easy, she added: "It's very hard to sit in judgment of another artist".

Guests taking selfies on the red carpet risk being shut out of screenings in an attempt to stamp out the practice.

"Being attractive doesn't preclude being intelligent", Blanchett responded.

The panel is completed by Chinese actor Chang Chen and a trio of male directors - France's Robert Guediguian, Canada's Denis Villeneuve and Russia's Andrey Zvyagintsev.

"A few years ago there were only two!"

Women outnumber men by five to four on this year's jury, which also includes Selma director Ava DuVernay and Burundian songwriter Khadja Nin. Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher won the second-place Grand Prix in 2014 for her family drama The Wonders. French law requires a three-year window following a film's theatrical release before it can land on a streaming platform — a prohibition that led to Cannes this year refusing to put Netflix entries into its prestigious competition lineup. "It has been irritating to me to think that I'm in Cannes because I'm a woman filmmaker and that now, with everything that's happening, the world has made a decision to put females in the spotlight". Only the directors and titles of the films are indicated as if to send a loud message that the quality of films alone matter. "It's so important that we're inclusive of the different ways we participate in film, whether that's in a theater or not", said DuVernay, who directed her documentary The 13th for Netflix. I mean I got a bad feeling from him.

French filmmaker Eva Husson brought her first film Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) to TIFF's competitive Platform program in2015, where it shocked andimpressed viewers with its frank depiction of teenage life.

The film sci-fi fans are really looking forward to, though, is Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will have its first screening at Cannes. It comes from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won foreign language Oscars for a separation and the salesman.

This year's festival will open with Everybody Knows, a psychological thriller starring husband and wife actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.

Gender balance could not have found a better visual representation than the sight of the Palme D'Or jury members at the opening press conference.

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