Female Director Count is Down in 2016

A new study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film has revealed that the number of women directing the film industry’s highest grossing movies has fallen from 9% to 7% between 2015 and 2016.

The report conducted by the group at San Diego State University revealed that the 2% drop occurred in the top 250 highest grossing releases in North America.

Kathryn Bigelow, Ava Duvernay, Sofia Coppola
Left to right: Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay, Sofia Coppola.

Other sectors of the film industry also saw a fall in the number of female contributions, with the number of female producers falling from 26% to 24% and the number of editors falling from 22% to 17%. The small number of female cinematographers fell from 6% to 5% between 2015 and 2016, with the even smaller number of sound editors also decreasing from 5% to 4% in the same time frame.

The study’s author Martha Lauzen said, “I’m dumbfounded. It is remarkable that with all of the attention and talk over the last couple of years in the business and the film industry, the numbers actually declined. Clearly the current remedies aren’t working. The industry has shown little real will to change in a substantive way. For real change to occur, we may need some intervention by an outside source.”

The report comes at the same time as the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission continues their investigation into gender discrimination within the film industry.

It’s not all negative reading however, with an increase of female writers from 11% to 13% in the top 250 films. 2017 also promises to be a positive year in this regard, as high-profile female-led movies such as ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ are due for release and are expected to attract huge audiences in the region.

Films directed by female directors also seemed more inclusive, with the amount of female writers, editors and cinematographers being way above average with 64, 43 and 16 percentile points respectively.

Source: Variety
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