These sixteen women took to the famous Cannes steps to protest racial inequality in world cinema and looked sensational in Balmain.
With the new Spike Lee film debuting, the talented Ava DuVernay on the jury and a rise of black actresses on Wednesday night, there was no question of the presence of black people in the cinema was felt at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
Authors of 'Noir n'est pas mon metier' (Black is not my job) led by the actress Aïssa Maïga took to the steps of the film festival to highlight the discrimination and humiliation of black women in world cinema. Speaking to the crowd, Aïssa said, 'Why are so many talented women and girls, from Africa and overseas, who master their art , cinema, theatre, sometimes sing, dance, write, seem to remain irremediably invisible, ignored? '
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The French actresses were welcomed at the top of the Palais des Festivals by Burundian singer Khadja Nin, a member of the jury of the 71st edition. The sixteen women, including Eye Haidara, Sonia Rolland and Firmine Richard, raised their fists before entering the room for the screening of the film "Burning" by Korean director Lee Chang-dong.
For this symbolic climb of stairs, they were dressed by Balmain, whose artistic director, Olivier Rousteing, is himself a man of colour and committed to diversity issues in fashion.
It was a monumental moment for black women in cinema and a great platform on which to protest racial inequalities in the film industry.