Cate Blanchett launches short film competition

So nice news, Cate is such a sweetheart, acts like this make me admire her even more 🙂

Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett is urging Australian children to pick up a video camera and raise awareness for youth homelessness.

Blanchett was in Sydney on Wednesday to launch the The Oasis: Homeless Short Film Competition to coincide with Young Homelessness Matters Day.

The national competition is asking students to make a three-minute short film about homelessness.

Ms Blanchett says the competition will help young people become more aware of the struggles less fortunate children go through.

“Film and theatre and the visual arts I really strongly believe have an exceptional and unique capacity to spread important social issues and help produce change in our community,” she said.

“I’d like to encourage school students both primary and secondary to not only pick up a camera and participate in the competition but to use the education resource and to delve into the issues and make outstanding films.

“Films that raise awareness, tell really inspiring stories and provide solutions that not only touch our hearts, but provoke us into making real action.”

The winners, announced in November, will receive $25,000 for their school.

The competition is part of the five-year Oasis initiative that began in 2008 when the AFI award-winning documentary The Oasis screened on the ABC, and The National Youth Commission Report on Youth Homelessness was released.

The documentary, about a homeless youth refuge called Oasis in inner-city Sydney, pulled in more than 1.1 million viewers.

Ms Blanchett said she can remember being very moved when she watched the documentary for the first time.

“I was at the premiere screening of the documentary in 2008 a week before I gave birth to our third son Ignatius and it was a powerful reminder to me that not every child born in Australia is born into a home that is safe and secure and stable,” she said.

Blanchett said she was “shocked by the extent of the problem of youth homelessness”, but was also inspired by the work of carers, social workers and the stories of the “street kids” themselves.

She said youth homelessness is an issue Australia can no longer ignore and believes one way to “tackle the issue is creatively”.

She said the competition would get the stories out and heard by those young people who have homes, families, and an education.

“Because of course these kids who pick up these cameras will be the strategists and policy makers and artists of the future,” she said.

Blanchett is also co-artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company and said the 15 competition finalists will be screened there later this year – the same place the Oasis documentary has its premiere.

“(So) get going, pick up those cameras and inspire us,” she said