Jessica Chastain has called the portrayal of women in film ‘disturbing’

The actor spoke out about the female characters she had witnessed in films at Cannes film festival

Jessica Chastain has hit out at the portrayal of women in film, saying how the female characters in movies she watched at the Cannes film festival were represented was “disturbing”.

The actor was speaking at the closing press conference of this year’s festival jury, of which she is a member.

“This is is the first time I’ve watched 20 films in 10 days and I love movies,” she told the room. “And 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 – with some exceptions.”

She continued to say she hoped more “female storytellers” would be portrayed “like the women I know in my day-to-day life”. “They are proactive, have their own point of view and don’t just react to the men around them,” she added, as the Guardian reports.

Only one female director has won the Palme d’Or at the festival in its 70-year history. Jane Campion won the award for her short film Peel in 1982 and recently said the fact no other women had won since was “insane”.

This year, two women won prizes at the festival. Lynne Ramsay won best screenplay for You Were Never Really Here, while Sofia Coppola was crowned best director for The Beguiled. Only one other woman has won that award before, with Yuliya Solntseva picking it up in 1961.

The 2017 Palme d’Or went to Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s satirical The Square.