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Female stars dominate Cannes festival jury

Kristen Stewart  (Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP, File)

Kristen Stewart (Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP, File)

Hollywood actresses Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux will head a starry and majority-female jury at the Cannes film festival next month, the organisers said Wednesday.

American writer-director Ava DuVernay of “Selma” fame and Burundian singer and composer Khadja Nin complete the five women on the nine-person jury that will decide the top Palme d’Or prize.

Chinese actor Chang Chen, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve and French writer Robert Guediguian make up the rest of the panel alongside the great Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev, who organisers said Tuesday would be one of the nine.

In a year when the #MeToo movement has dominated the headlines, and with only three female directors among the 18 in competition, the organisers clearly felt the need to make a stronger gesture towards women.

They had already announced earlier this year that the Australian-born actress Blanchett would head the jury.

At least four of the assaults on actresses of which the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is accused are alleged to have taken place at Cannes. (AFP)