Cate Blanchett promotes funding for women and LGBTQ+ filmmakers: ''Why doesn't anyone ask men how to solve the problem too?''

Proof of Concept can help change the industry, creating a ripple effect that will amplify the presence of women and LGBTQ+ people in cinema.

Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Cate Blanchett once again brought the issue of gender representation in the film industry to the fore during the Kering Women in Motion Talks at the Cannes Film Festival. Stating that the industry landscape remains heavily male-dominated, despite ongoing efforts to promote equality, Blanchett expressed frustration with the persistent disparity. “It's like Groundhog Day,” she observed, lamenting how, with each new project, she finds herself working in environments with an overwhelming prevalence of men.

Cate Blanchett's Proof of Concept program aims to offer women and the LGBTQ+ community the chance to explore genres traditionally monopolized by men. The actress is trying to transform this system through Proof of Concept, an accelerator program co-founded with Coco Francini and Dr. Stacy Smith of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. This project aims to financially support short films by women, trans, and non-binary people, offering them concrete opportunities for realization and visibility. The first class of Proof of Concept directors will be announced this week, with 11 winners selected from 1,200 applicants.

The Oscar winner emphasized that diversity of perspectives is essential not only for fairness but also for creative and commercial reasons. “Their point of view, in whatever story, in whatever genre they tell it, will be different from that of someone who grew up [as] a middle-class white male,” she said Cate Blanchett. Cate Blanchett has criticized double standards in the film industry, where male directors are often celebrated for their creative risks, while female directors face greater pressure to succeed. “Every time I personally advanced in my career, it was when I took risks,” she said. However, when women receive significant resources, they are subject to much harsher scrutiny than their male counterparts.

According to a report by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only 6% of the directors of the 1,700 highest-grossing films between 2007 and 2023 were women, with only 2 directors being transgender. This imbalance is also reflected in opportunities in front of the camera, where less than a third of speaking characters were women, trans or non-binary people. Finally, the actress criticized the fact that it is often only women who are asked about solutions for inclusivity in Hollywood. “Why are you asking me to solve it?” she asked, suggesting that men should also be involved in discussing and resolving these issues.

Source: VarietyVariety