Jury president Cate Blanchett poses for photographers during a photo call for the jury at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Picture: AP

Australian actress Cate Blanchett thinks there has been progress for female filmmakers at Cannes.

The 48-year-old actress' comments come amid criticism facing the festival, which this year only features three films directed by women in a line-up of 21, with New Zealand screenwriter Jane Campion still the only female filmmaker to have won the top prize, the Palme d'Or. 

READ: Cate Blanchett to head Cannes film festival jury

Speaking on the progress she's witnessed over the years, Cate said: "A few years ago there were only two [female directors in competition]. 

"The selection committee now has more women on board than in previous years, which will obviously change the lens through which the films are chosen. But these things are not going to happen overnight." 

However, the Hollywood star - who is the chair of the Cannes jury at this year's festival - admitted that she would like to see more progress going forwards. 

She shared: "Would I like to see more women in competition? Absolutely. Do I expect and hope that that's going to happen in the future? I hope so. But we're dealing with what we have this year, and our role in the next almost two weeks is to deal with what is in front of us." 

The 'Notes on a Scandal' actress also explained how the film industry as a whole could move forward in regards to tackling gender inequality. 

She revealed that significant change would only "take place through specific actions, not generalisations, and not through pontification. It's addressing the gender gap and it's addressing the racial diversity, and equality and the way that we make the work."