Bardem and Cruz walk the red carpet to open Cannes Film Festival

Cate Blanchett has expressed sympathy for the two directors who have been banned from attending the Cannes Film Festival in France.

The opening ceremony also served as the premiere of the first film of the festival, Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben).

Cate is serving as this year's jury president and she opened up about how the #MeToo movement would affect the festival this year. With no fewer than a dozen films with LGBT themes, and others tackling child abuse, male prostitution and an eye-watering DIY sex change, it has all the makings of a vintage year for scandal and controversy at Cannes. But you know, is it going to have a direct impact on the film in competition this year, six nine months on? "There are many women on the jury, but I wish there were more in competition", she told French radio Tuesday. "Do I think it will happen more in the future?"

But, as if to show how women must not be overlooked in cinema, she had a barbed response to a reporter who asked the "filmmakers" - meaning the directors, rather than actors - on the jury to answer "why are movies still important?"

USA to open embassy in Jerusalem
Most agreements have foundered on the questions of territory, refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The Palestinians seek the eastern sector as capital of their hoped-for state.

"This is not the Nobel Peace Prize, it's the Palme d'Or".

The actresses were joined by fellow jury members Ava Duvernay, Lea Seydoux, Khadja Nin, Chang Chen, Robert Guédiguian and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

The festival runs from May 8 to May 19.

  • Stacy Houston