Jessica Chastain has blasted the ''disturbing'' representation of women in film.

The 40-year-old actress was a member of the jury at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and admitted she was shocked at how few ''authentic'' women were portrayed in the movies she watched.

In an emotional speech, she said: ''I do believe that if you have female storytelling you also have more authentic female characters. This is the first time I watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies. 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.

''There were some exceptions, I will say, [but] for the most part, I was surprised by the representation of female characters on screen in these films.''

And Jessica revealed her hopes that female directors can change this and show real women in their movies, if they are given a chance.

She said: ''I do hope that when we include more female storytellers, we will have more women that I recognise in my own day-to-day life. Ones that are proactive, have their own agency, don't just react to the men around them. They have their own point of view.''

A number of female stars took to Twitter to praise Jessica for her words.

America Ferrera tweeted: ''It takes courage to speak truth to power. Thank you @jes_chastain for speaking truth and representing the voices of millions!''

Debra Messing wrote: ''YES @jes_chastain YESSSSSS. Thank you for using you voice so powerfully and effectively,'' while Alicia Malone added: ''I love @jes_chastain!!''

Jessica has been an outspoken advocate for women in Hollywood and recently revealed she no longer accepts roles until she knows what her male co-stars are making.

She said: ''I'm not taking jobs anymore where I'm getting paid a quarter of what the male co-star is being paid. I'm not allowing that in my life.''