Eighty-two women including French filmmaker Agnès Varda and the actresses Salma Hayek and Marion Cotillard — appeared on the red carpet for the premiere of “Girls of the Sun” , directed by Eva Husson. In a display of temperment fiercely embraced by the Kurdish women freedom fighters honored in Husson's film, the women joined Cate Blanchett in a red carpet protest of inequitable representation of women at the Cannes Film Festival.
The number 82 was chosen precisely because in the 71 festival competitions since 1946, only 82 movies by female directors have contended for awards, compared with a total of 1,645 films by male directors. Only one movie by a female director, 'The Piano' by Jane Campion, has ever won the festival's top price, the Palme d'Or. Ms. Husson is one of three female directors among the 21 Palme d'Or contenders this year for 'Girls of the Sun'.
According to The New York Times, the 82 women walked up the carpeted staircase, then turned to face the crowd.