Positive change is already occurring, Blanchett said, noting that there are now more women selecting films for Cannes.
Cannes, a feverish pageant of celebrity and cinema, is trying to both rigorously guard tradition and adapt to fast-changing times.
On the opening ceremony's carefully choreographed red carpet, one of the festival's numerous modifications this year - a ban on selfies - was broken by some attendees who attempted to take photographs with their phones.
Yet some say it's not enough for Cannes to change its clocks.
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Pressed by the media on the issue of filmmaker Roman Polanski - who has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but remains a prominent personality in the French film world - Fremaux was less clear.
Despite a plea by USA director Oliver Stone, Teheran has refused to lift a travel ban on Iranian Jafar Panahi, whose Three Faces is in the running for the top Palme d'Or prize.
The festival has warned attendees that they could be denied entry to a premiere if they take personal photos on the red carpet.
The night before, Kristen and Cate stepped out to attend a jury dinner.
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Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard and Pawel Pawlikowski are among the male directors in the running for the prestigious Palme d'Or award.
They are France's Eva Husson, Lebanon's Nadine Labaki and Italy's Alice Rohrwacher - the only one of the three to have previously been in competition.
"There are several women in competition but they are not there because of their gender, they are there for the quality of their work". "I don't think I'd even find time to". "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 chose to put females in the spotlight". I'm not looking at the filmmakers as an Iranian filmmaker, or a Chilean, or a Korean, or a female, or a transgender [filmmaker]-'We don't have any transgender directors this year. "And our job, as industry professionals away from the festival, is to work towards change". "We would wait for him to arrive on the Croisette every year with a mixture of joy, impatience and some nerves, too, because he had such strong and original views on cinema and on the Festival de Cannes". Chastain, while not connected with any film playing at the festival this year, will in a way still be influencing the conversation. The festival has asked that Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov and Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi be given permission to attend the premieres of their films, but that appears unlikely. The Spanish language family drama Everybody Knows starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, opening the fest, is one of them.
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