While several of the entertainment industry’s elite flocked to England on Saturday to celebrate the royal wedding, other members of Hollywood royalty concluded their takeover of the French Riviera for the closing events of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
This year’s festival had a strong streak of activist energy, marked by multiple festival-endorsed demonstrations and some revolutionary firsts, including a predominantly female jury (including two black women); the premiere of a female-directed lesbian coming-of-age story, banned in its native Kenya; and a Grand Prix award for Spike Lee’s upcoming BlacKkKlansman, the first festival award for the director in his decadeslong career.
But what was equally inspiring was the increased representation in the Cannes crowd this year, which extended to some major style statements. Lee’s iconic “Love-Hate” knuckle rings, jury judge Khadja Nin’s array of head wraps, massive Afro wigs and Ava DuVernay’s gorgeously versatile locs all made appearances on the red carpet; and no one in attendance will likely ever forget the visual of 16 black actresses dressed in Balmain and dancing on the steps of the Palais des Festivals.
This year, there was a sense of joyful (and necessary) disruption at the world’s most fashionable—and famously European—film festival. And because representation is key to starting any revolution (artistically or otherwise), here’s a look back at how Cannes got a bit more colorful in 2018.
Oh—and a sweet and appreciative farewell from one of our forever faves, Cannes 2018 jury member Ava DuVernay: