Salma Hayek, Jane Fonda, Marion Cotillard and Patty Jenkins were among the dozens of women who took part in the display, held at the first Cannes festival since multiple reports of abuse and harrassment shook Hollywood.
Eighty-two actresses such as Helen Mirren, filmmakers and producers marched arm and arm to demand equality and "a safe workplace", seven months after the world was shaken by the #MeToo movement and the fall of mogul Harvey Weinstein included Oscar winners.
"Today at Cannes, 82 women in film climbed the steps of the Palais in silence and stopped halfway to raise awareness about the fact that in the Cannes Film Festival's 71-year history, there have been just 82 women directors to climb the stairs (compared to 1,688 male directors), and to call for #5050by2020", the organisation stated on its social media pages.
After leading the group of women down the carpet, Blanchett stood at the top to read a statement alongside director Agnès Varda, who translated the remarks into French. The stairs of our industry MUST be accessible to all.
Eighty-two women took to the red carpet in protest this past weekend over the low number of female filmmakers in competition at the world's biggest film festival.
The move comes as the topics of inclusion and equality have been front and centre at Cannes Film Festival 2018. "It's not a globe stunt because it is something in every woman's heart right now, and it's going to carry on and on and on", she said, noting that the fund is going to support low-income women.
C's Vs Cavs: Who Defends LeBron?
LeBron James is attempting to reach his eighth straight NBA Finals. James' presence alone gives Cleveland a massive advantage. Who is most likely to win the 2018 NBA Championship?
This year, there are three female directors vying for the Palme d'Or: Nadine Labaki, Alice Rohrwacher and Eva Husson, the French filmmaker whose "Girls of the Sun" premiered Saturday immediately after the red carpet protest.
"Several members of the worldwide film festival of India, Goa were present at Cannes this year".
Blanchett has criticised Cannes for once again failing to invite more female directors.
The 48-year-old has emerged as a key figure in Hollywood's fight against sexual misconduct. Her comments echo those of fellow actress Jessica Chastain who served on the jury past year and lambasted Cannes for its "disturbing" depiction of women.
As part of the debut Saudi presence at the global festival, nine short films by young Saudi directors were screeed in the Short Film Corner, including Is Sumiyati Going to Hell? by Meshal Aljaser, about a maid working for racist employers, and Alkaif by Seba Alluqmani, about the country's coffee tradition.