BARBIE was voted the best film of 2023 for challenging conventional stereotypes.
The star-studded blockbuster was praised by 2,000 film fans for shining a spotlight on gender norms and imbalances.
Second place went to “The Little Mermaid” for casting black actress Halle Bailey in the lead role, with “The Whale” rounding out the top three spots with its depiction of depression.
According to the survey commissioned by the M&M’s Short Film Festival, which provides funding and mentorship to emerging filmmakers, moviegoers also celebrated Guardians of the Galaxy 3 for featuring a superhero from the LGBTQ+ community.
But despite progress, 66 percent believe the film industry still perpetuates stereotypes when portraying characters from underrepresented groups.
And 41 percent still don’t feel represented in the cinema.
More than half (54 percent) want more effort to be made to ensure minority roles are given to actors from these communities. Among Generation Z film lovers surveyed, the figure is 73 percent.
Accurate representation is also a priority among this younger audience, with 54 percent saying fair representation of minority groups improves the viewing experience.
While 77 percent say poor acting or outdated stereotypes are enough to turn off a film or leave the theater.
According to the poll conducted via OnePoll, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is to blame and has aged badly – with 27 percent calling the portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi by a white actor in yellow a major misstep.
A quarter noted “Gone With the Wind”’s problematic romanticization of the horrors of slavery in the antebellum South, and 20 percent criticized “The Last Samurai” for its inaccurate portrayal of Japanese culture.
THE FIVE MOVIES OF 2023 THAT TOOK OUT STEREOTYPES:
2. The Little Mermaid
3. The whale
4. Guardians of the Galaxy 3
5. Women talk
In fact, 40 percent believe they would perform better in film if they had the opportunity to make a feature film.
Aspiring directors who want to bring their stories to life are welcome to apply M&M’s Short Film Festival by submitting a film idea inspired by the theme of belonging.
THE FIVE MOVIES THAT HAVE AGED BADLY:
1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Mr. Yunioshi, played by a white actor with yellow face
2. Gone with the Wind – romanticizing the antebellum South while ignoring the horrors of slavery
3. The Last Samurai – misrepresents Japanese culture and features a controversial cast
4. Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom – depiction of the Indian people
5. Planet of the Apes – because of its racist connotations
A diverse jury selects three people to create and publish trailers. These are shown to the public, who then select the winner, who receives a cash prize and mentorship towards the production of their film.
Monique Needham, who won last year and now joins the list of mentors, said: “I’m thrilled to be working with M&M’S to support the next generation of filmmakers and help tell rich stories that deserve to be seen “screen instead of outdated stereotypes.
“By funding my film Sunday Dinner, I was finally able to tell a story that brings characters from my world to life and showcases British Caribbean culture in a way that I don’t often get to see in the UK.”
Leah Dyckes of Bitesize added: “As synonymous with film culture, we believe it is our duty to use our global platform to empower emerging filmmakers to amplify their voices, further strengthen the sense of belonging and break down barriers to them. “ with a passion for creativity, regardless of their background.”