Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain has used her position on the Cannes Film Festival jury to controversially call out the film industry, describing the lack of good female roles on offer as "disturbing".
Only three of the 19 films competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize at Cannes were made by women, and speaking at a press conference during the festival, Interstellar star Chastain became emotional when she described what she'd seen as a jury member.
"I do believe that if you have female storytelling you also have more authentic female characters. This is the first time I watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies. The one thing I really took away from this experience is how the world views women, from the female characters that were represented. It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest," she said, her voice breaking.
"There were some exceptions, I will say, [but] for the most part, I was surprised by the representation of female characters on screen in these films."
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Chastain finished her speech with a call-to-action for women directors.
"I do hope that when we include more female storytellers, we will have more women that I recognise in my own day-to-day life. Ones that are proactive, have their own agency, don't just react to the men around them. They have their own point of view."
As the festival drew to a close, Sofia Coppola was announced as best director for the Nicole Kidman-starring The Beguiled, making her only the second woman to win that prize in the festival's 70-year history.
Chastain is an outspoken advocate for gender equality in Hollywood. In a recent interview, the Oscar-nominated 40-year-old revealed that one director even warned her about being so vocal about her beliefs.
"I had one male director say to me that I talk too much about all of this 'women stuff'," she explained. "This is a person I love, and maybe he was concerned I would hurt my career. I'm not attacking anyone. I'm trying to create more inclusiveness, compassion and empathy - which in turn makes better movies, better art."
"I just don't know why it's not changing," she said. "I'm doing my part to make the change, so why isn't everyone else?"