Cate Blanchett reckons queer filmmakers are more exciting

Cate Blanchett at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival
Image: Variety/YouTube

Actress and producer Cate Blanchett wants to see more women on film sets and more of the “really exciting” points of view of trans and non-binary filmmakers.

The Aussie star is at the Cannes Film Festival with her new political satire flick Rumours.

Cate, who’s also a producer, joined a panel discussion (watch it below) to promote her filmmaking initiative Proof of Concept, which funds short films by women and transgender and non-binary people. The organisation will shortly hand funding to its first filmmakers.

“It’s interesting. A lot of the submissions by trans or non-binary filmmakers didn’t speak directly to that experience,” Cate told the Cannes panel.

“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 a white middle-class male.

“It’s a different perspective. They’ll put the camera in a different place in the room. I think that’s really exciting. That’s when you see really different types of filmmaking.”

Cate added, “What we identified is part of the problem is a failure of imagination. You might have a small percentage of your cast being trans or non-binary in front of the camera, but what about behind the camera?

“What about those people who are actually authoring the stories? We talk about diversity and breaking down the homogeneity of the types of stories we see as audience members and make as cinema artists.

“It’s got to be more dynamic. There’s so much talent there and that’s what we want to harness.”

’50 people on set and there are three women’

Cate Blanchett also said when she starts on a film set, doing a “head count” can be a pretty depressing experience.

“I do the head count, and I’m back in the same place, working with men who I love working with and respect,” she explains.

“[But] I’m walking on set and there’s 50 people on set and there’s three women. When is this going to deeply, profoundly shift?”

She also said that a double standard exists where men are often “applauded for their risks” but it’s a different experience for women.

Cate Blanchett and her Proof of Concept partners on the panel suggested male filmmakers can bounce back after box office failures, but for women and other marginalised creatives, failure is simply not an option.

“The industry, the more it embraces being risk-averse, the more it’s doomed to being full of banal failures,” Cate said.

“I think anytime that I personally have advanced creatively in my career is when I have taken risks.

“A lot of our male counterparts in the industry are applauded for their risks and their bravery. They get $100 million and all the male actors are taking incredible risks – that may not have worked – but god!”

‘Why are you asking me?’

Between 2007 and 2023, a 2023 study found only 6 percent of the directors of the 1,700 top-grossing movies were women. Just two on the list were transgender.

And despite the success of Barbie, 2023 also saw a worrying “historic low” for women in leading roles in top-grossing films.

“There seems to be in the media, in particular, a sense of ‘Haven’t we discussed that?’” Cate Blanchett said.

“I feel the same way. The amount of times that women are in press conferences, say at a festival like this, and get asked about women’s representation in films.

“There are two men sitting on this panel, I would love for you to ask them that question. Is it my problem? It’s my reality. But why are you asking me to solve it?”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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