Cate Blanchett Favors Diverse Voices Over Traditional Ones

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Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett expressed on Monday that she finds it “exciting” to witness “the point of view” of transgender and nonbinary filmmakers over that of a “white middle-class male.”

During the Cannes Film Festival Kering Women in Motion Talks, Blanchett highlighted her filmmaking organization Proof of Concept, which funds films by women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals.

“It’s interesting. A lot of the submissions by trans or nonbinary filmmakers didn’t speak directly to that experience,” she noted regarding her organization’s film funding applicants.

Blanchett elaborated, “But because of their lived experience, their point of view, in whatever story, in whatever genre they tell it, will be different from somebody who has grown up [as a] white middle-class male.”

“It’s a unique perspective. They’ll place the camera differently in the room. And I find that really exciting. That’s when you see truly diverse kinds of filmmaking,” she added.

The Hollywood icon mentioned that while she enjoys collaborating with men she admires and respects, she frequently performs a “head count” to examine if the set is male dominated.

“I do the head count, and I’m back in the same situation, working with men whom I enjoy working with and respect, [but] I walk onto set and there are 50 people, and only three are women. When is this going to change profoundly?” she questioned at the Cannes forum.

She also mentioned that it’s challenging for women to take risks in the film industry, while men often receive accolades for their risks.

“Anytime I’ve advanced in my career, it’s been when I’ve taken risks. A lot of our male peers in the industry are praised for their risks and their courage. They’re given $100 million and male actors are taking significant risks that may not have succeeded, but still!” she said.

Fellow panelist Dr. Stacy Smith, founder of the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, discussed the “fiscal cliff” that “marginalized individuals” face when they debut a film and then struggle to secure a follow-up project.

“There’s a gendered marketplace for historically marginalized individuals moving from one to multiple features,” Smith said to Blanchett. “For women, trans, and nonbinary people, it’s often just one chance. They get one at-bat.”

She elaborated, “It’s 11 people. [If] each of them turns this into a feature. And suppose they work with 100 others. And then those 100 individuals move on to another project they’ve never worked on before. In a short time, you’re generating an entire groundswell of people who previously didn’t have the opportunity, and it all started with 11. This exponential growth is how you create change.”

Heather Hunter
Heather Hunter
Contributor. Heather is an award-winning radio, television and film producer and previously wrote for The Daily Caller and LifeZette.

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