Dual Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett has slammed funding cuts to Screen Australia announced in the federal budget as “short-sighted”.
Australia’s television and film funding body will be $38 million worse off over the next four years under widespread arts cuts announced by the government this week.
Blanchett, at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2, said the government had failed to recognise the economic and diplomatic significance of culture with its tough budget.
“I think there’s a lot of concerns in the budget generally, not only the film industry,” Blanchett said on Friday.
“It’s not only a potent industry that feeds Australia at home but culture generally, for any nation, is a piece of soft diplomacy.
“It’s a way that we understand the way the mind of a country works.
“It’s a huge economic driver at home and I think it (the budget) is very short-sighted.”
Blanchett, who won Academy Awards for her roles in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine, started her career with the Sydney Theatre Company and is a passionate supporter of the Australian arts industry.