Lily Gladstone, Greta Gerwig, Join Cate Blanchett’s Film Program

The program aims to support and fund films made by women, trans, and non-binary people.

Cate Blanchett, producer Coco Francini of Dirty Films, and Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, first announced the Proof of Concept Accelerator in December 2023. 

The program is supported by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity. It is designed to financially support films coming from the perspectives of women, trans, and non-binary people. Filmmakers will also be provided with mentorship and once their projects are completed, they will be publicly showcased.

READ ALSO: Five Films For Freedom: The British Council Celebrates A Decade Of LGBTQIA+ Stories

In March, the selection committee for the program was revealed to include multi-awarded and nominated individuals from the film industry. Along with the three founders, the committee also consists of Janicza Bravo, Jane Campion, Emma Corrin, Greta Gerwig, Lily Gladstone, Eva Longoria, Lilly Wachowski, and Chloé Zhao.

“We are grateful for the willingness of so many industry leaders to come together and support this accelerator,” said Blanchett, Francini, and Dr. Smith in a joint statement.

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett | Image via Wikimedia Commons

The committee will be responsible for choosing eight filmmakers who will receive $50,000 each and mentorship for their short films. The program had 1,200 applicants, many of which represent marginalized genders, races, and ethnic groups.

Women in Film

In an interview with Variety, Blanchett shared that the powerhouse committee came together “very rapidly.” Even with their busy schedules, they all felt a sense of urgency to support the program.

Janicza Bravo

Janicza Bravo directed and co-wrote her latest film, Zola, in 2020. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Award. 

One of her most recent projects includes a short film titled Women’s Tales: House Comes With a Bird. The anthology series was created by the Italian luxury brand Miu Miu.

Jane Campion

New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion is best known for writing and directing the critically acclaimed films The Piano and The Power of the Dog.

The Piano won Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars back in 1994. Then in 2022, almost three decades later, Campion won Best Director for The Power of the Dog. She became the first female director to be nominated in the category twice.

Emma Corrin

Emma Corrin won a Golden Globe and was nominated at the Emmys for their role as Princess Diana in The Crown. Since then, they’ve starred in projects such as My Policeman, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and A Murder at the End of the World

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown
Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown | Image via Instagram @emmalouisecorrin

Corrin has also come out as queer, identifying as non-binary and using “they/them” pronouns, as seen in their Instagram profile. In 2022, they became Vogue magazine’s first non-binary cover star.

Greta Gerwig

Fresh from the success of Barbie, Greta Gerwig has been on a roll since her solo directorial debut in 2017. The film, Lady Bird, went on to win two Golden Globe awards including Best Motion Picture. It also received several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture as well as Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Gerwig.

In 2022, Gerwig made a return to acting in the absurdist comedy drama film White Noise, co-starring with Adam Driver. As for her next projects, Gerwig worked on the screenplay for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White. She’s also writing and directing two film adaptations of C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia book series.

Lily Gladstone

Lily Gladstone earned critical acclaim and received several accolades for her role as Mollie Kyle in Killers of the Flower Moon. She became the first Native American to win the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture and to receive a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars.

Her next projects include the drama film Jazzy (in which she is also an executive producer) and Under the Bridge, an upcoming true crime series.

Eva Longoria

Actress, producer, and director Eva Longoria was recognized for her role in the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. She is also well-known as Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives. The role earned her a People’s Choice Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards along with the rest of the cast.

Eva Longoria at the 96th Academy Awards
Eva Longoria at the 96th Academy Awards | Image via Instagram @evalongoria

Aside from acting, she has also directed episodes of Jane the Virgin, Black-ish, and more. She made her feature-length directorial debut with Flamin’ Hot, a biographical comedy-drama film. She is also very active with her philanthropic efforts. In March 2024, she received the Courage and Civility Award worth $50 million from Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez. The award recognized the Eva Longoria Foundation which supports programs for Latinas.

Lilly Wachowski

For many projects, Lilly Wachowski worked with her sister Lana. Together they directed the Matrix franchise, V for Vendetta, and Cloud Atlas. After the first season of the Netflix series Sense8, both began to focus more on their solo projects. Lilly Wachowski went on to co-write and co-showrun the series Work in Progress.

In 2016, she came out as a transgender woman, telling the Windy City Times “I am one of the lucky ones. Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process.” She made her first public appearance shortly after at the 27th GLAAD Media Awards. She was present to accepted an award for Outstanding Drama Series for Sense8.

Chloé Zhao

Chinese-born filmmaker Chloé Zhao has primarily worked on independent films. Her debut feature film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, premiered at Sundance in 2015 and received critical acclaim.

Zhao’s 2020 film Nomadland won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. She also received the Best Director award, making her the second woman and first woman of color to win it. Her latest film was Eternals in 2021, a superhero film which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Banner image via Wikimedia Commons.

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