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How Rasika Dugal, Salma Hayek made history at Cannes

May 15, 2018 13:10 IST

Eighty two women including actors and filmmakers stood up to support #MeToo movement at Cannes.

Salma Hayek, Rasika Duggal support #MeToo at Cannes

Salma Hayek (third row, third from left), Rasika Dugal (third row, first from right) and other filmmakers protest the lack of female filmmakers honored at the festival during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals. Photograph: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

May 12, 2018 was a red letter day in the history of Cannes film festival.

At the screening of Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil), a group of 82 women including actors and filmmakers came together to protest the lack of female filmmakers honored throughout the history of the festival.

In the last 71 years of the festival, only 82 films in competition in the official selection have been directed by women. In contrast, 1,645 films selected for the festival in these years have been directed by men. 

Women held hands and expressed solidarity to the #MeToo movement. 

Salma Hayek, Rasika Duggal support #MeToo at Cannes

Eighty two women came together to support the #MeToo movement against sexual discrimination at the Cannes red carpet. Photograph: Kind courtesy Hardly Anonymous Communications

The event was attended by Rasika Dugal and Nandita Das from India.

Among international celebrities, there was Salma Hayek, Jane Fonda, Ava Duvernay, Marion Cottilard, Patty Jenkins and Kristen Stewart.

Salma Hayek, Rasika Duggal support #MeToo at Cannes

Salma Hayek and Rasika Dugal at Cannes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Rasika Dugal

"There are very few times when you are part of a historical moment and you know it. This was one of those," said Dugal who was making her debut at the festival.

"It was a very emotional experience holding hands and walking in solidarity with 82 women at Cannes. Not much was said but yet many of us were moved to tears. The unspoken regard and understanding and solidarity for the challenges we have all had to face to be here was so so powerful," the Manto actor said.

"It was my first time at the Palais de festivals red carpet at the Cannes film festival and I shared that moment with Salma Hayek, Patty Jenkins, Nandita Das and so many other women. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction. Cate Blanchett's powerful speech just made me feel more than ever how important this is. I mean we know there is rampant gender discrimination and we face it everyday (in so so many small things) but just to have the numbers like that makes me feel like it's about time !"

Ahead of the festival, a #MeToo helpline was set up to encourage women to report cases of sexual misconduct at the event.

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau