Cate Blanchett launches Cannes Film Festival by addressing missing directors

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The two-time Oscar victor, who is the chairman of this year's Palme d'Or jury, opened the annual film event with a press conference on Tuesday (08May18), and was quick to address the drama surrounding Russian Kirill Serebrennikov and Iran's Jafar Panahi, whose films Leto and 3 Faces will premiere at Cannes this week. Blanchett said she would "absolutely" want to see more women in competition at the annual gala. With no fewer than a dozen films with LGBT themes, and others tackling child abuse, male prostitution and an eye-watering DIY sex change, it has all the makings of a vintage year for scandal and controversy at Cannes.

"Is (MeToo) going to have a direct impact upon the films in competition this year, six, nine months on?" Not specifically. the women here are not here due to their gender.

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Kristen Stewart and Cate Blanchett wear black gowns to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival Opening Ceremony held at the Palais des Festivals on Tuesday (May 8) in Cannes, France. "We have to include women and look for diversity".

The 28-year-old actress joined her fellow jury members Cate Blanchett, Chang Chen, Ava DuVernay, Denis Villeneuve, and Robert Guediguian for the event.

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After Farhadi, another Iranian director, Jafar Panahi, will screen a movie in competition, but will be unable to attend the festival as he is officially banned from film-making by his government.

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

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