New company puts women first

Binoche and Chastain lead the way.

by Richard Mowe

Juliette Binoche:
Juliette Binoche: "It is a way of starting a wave that will begin to change ideas and consciences.” Photo: Unifrance

French actress Juliette Binoche (Sils Maria) and American actress Jessica Chastain (The Martian) have set up a production company called We Do It Together to finance and promote films that will help to change the image of women on screen.

Others involved in the project include Queen Latifah, Freida Pinto, Ziyi Zhang, and directors Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Amma Asante (Belle) and Marielle Heller (The Diary Of A Teenage Girl) as well as director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now).

The aim is to find funding from both public and private sources to enable film and television content to be made which will help to counteract the frequently sexist attitudes and female roles offered by Hollywood.

Initially the aim is to make six 15 minute films by women directors - and any profits made from them will be ploughed back into the company which has been established as a non-profit charity. “It is a way of starting a wave that will begin to change ideas and consciences,” Binoche says.

In the US only 16 per cent of regular television director roles belong to women. In terms of cinema the figure is even less with only five per cent of those working behind the camera as directors being female.

The company will be officially launched at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May.

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