Australian Cate Blanchett addressed Hollywood’s historic lack of diversity during a speech at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. The 48-year-old actress praised the #MeToo Movement for “addressing the gender gap and the racial diversity and the equality and the way we make our work,” Sydney Morning Herald reports.
However, while she said change would come, she acknowledged that it would very likely take some time. “For profound lasting change to occur, it needs to take place through specific actions,” she said. “Is [#MeToo] going to have a direct impact on films in competition this year? Or six, nine months on? Not specifically.”
Blanchett then noted that there were just “several women in competition” at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. “The women here are not here because of their gender; they are there because of the quality of their work,” she said. “We will assess them as filmmakers, as we should.” She added that she hoped to see more women at Cannes and other international film festivals in future. “Would I like to see more women in competition? Absolutely. Do I think it will happen more in the future? I hope so,” she said.
Just three of the 21 films in competition at Cannes were directed by women this year. The festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, has been given to a female director only once – Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano. Festival director Thierry Fremaux admitted that “cinema has always been in the hands of men”, and said he expected to see more female filmmakers in the years to come.
The 71st Cannes Film Festival runs until May 19.