Jessica Chastain and Queen Latifah have joined a host of big-name film industry women to launch a female-focused production company.
Gender parity in the film industry is an issue that still needs addressing. In 2014, for example, only 12 per cent of leading roles cast went to women.
Even ignoring the major setback in terms of equality, this makes no sense financially for Hollywood. Back in November last year, Mic. published an article revealing that films featuring a female-fronted lead do better, typically, than films with a male one.
This is where the likes of Queen Latifah and Jessica Chastain step in. They have both joined a number of others to launch a female focused production company called We Do It Together (WDIT).
The company aims to empower women in the film, TV and other entertainment industries by working with both female and male directors, actors and producers.
Focusing on gender-led films, WDIT will raise money from grants, governments, corporate sponsors and individual donations to provide and promote more opportunities for new and exciting female talent.
Chiara Tilesi – Italian producer and WDIT’s founder – said that the company will provide ‘a structure that will ensure that these stories will be financed and distributed’ and a platform which allows women a ‘concrete way to express themselves.’
Speaking on the wider issue of gender equality, Tilesi commented:
‘We hope in the future we won’t have a need for dedicated niche financing for films by and about women. All of us involved in We Do It Together recognize the vital role of the media and entertainment in both shaping and challenging societal norms.’
Hollywood has always provided a great platform for voicing society’s issues and Chastain and Queen Latifah will be using their influence to draw attention to this empowering and promising company. Joining them on the advisory board will be Frieda Pinto, Catherine Hardwicke and Juliette Binoche, among others.
Speaking on the power of the entertainment industry, Tilesi noted:
‘Film has always possessed the power to defy convention and change hearts and minds, and this power and potential must be harnessed to challenge the current archaic norms related to women within the entertainment industry.’
WDIT is hoping to unveil its first project in Cannes this May and will be participating in the United Nations’ third Annual Power of Collaboration Global Summit on February 29th.
Words: Ashleigh Grady
IMAGES: GETTY / GIPHY