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Morning press shows ahead of Competition films several hours ahead of their red-carpet galas have been done away with while protracted post-screening embargoes have been imposed on reviews of films that screen late night. This year's festival is the first since the scandal broke last October.

"This is the first time I've watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies", said Chastain.

Polanski, a Cannes regular who premiered a film here previous year, was last week kicked out of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Most wanted to know, through variously framed questions, how the Cannes film festival would change things, how it was responding to the culture of ignoring talented women in the film industry, and whether, while deciding who to hand over this year's Palme d'Or to, it will be taking affirmative action.

And among the four men is a Chinese actor (Chang Chen), a Canadian director (Denis Villeneuve), and Russian writer, director Andrey Zvyaginstsev whose Loveless remains one of the best films of 2017.

If only one woman has won the Palme d'Or it is also because very few of them ever get nominated. This year, only three of the 21 films in the main Competition have been helmed by women, but the festival's 18-film Un certain regard selection features as many as seven women directors.

"Not only Cannes but the whole world changed last September" when claims started to emerge that Weinstein had abused dozens of women over the years, he said. "There will be more and more (female filmmakers) in the future".

DuVernay, the filmmaker of "Selma" and the Netflix documentary "13th", said the power of movies is the ability to "speak to each other through cinema".

Besides, "Glorious Ashes" directed by renowned Vietnamese director Bui Thac Chuyen will be present at the most prestigious film festival in the world.

Faced with the prospect of only showing its films out of competition, Netflix withdrew its films from Cannes.

Does feminism clash with the glamorous side of Cannes -the red carpet, for instance? Von Trier, who was declared "persona non grata" at the festival in 2011 after making sympathetic comments about Nazis, was last fall accused by Bjork of sexual harassing her on the set of Dancer in the Dark, a charge von Trier denied.

After Farhadi, another Iranian director, Jafar Panahi, will screen a movie in competition, but will be unable to attend the festival as he is officially banned from film-making by his government. His film "The House That Jack Built" stars Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman.

Amidst the less starry line-up at the festival, the new "Star Wars" spin-off, "Solo" is the only Hollywood blockbuster.