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03 January 2019

Latest Celluloid Ceiling Report Shows Women Made Up Just 8% of Directors

The 21st annual The Celluloid Ceiling study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film was released today (Thursday 3 January 2019) and showed that of the top 250 domestic grossing films at the US box office in 2018, just 8% of directors were women.

That’s a three percentage points drop from 2017, and one percentage point below what the figure was twenty years ago, showing that whilst high profile break throughs – such as Ava DuVernay becoming the first black woman to direct a $100 million movie (Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time) and Patty Jenkins’ success with 2017’s Wonder Woman – there’s still a long way to go to reach gender parity in the profession.

The study looked at the representation of women across a range of roles, including writers, producers, editors and cinematographers and found that overall women made up 20% of professionals in those roles; an increase of two percentage points from 2017. Women were best represented amongst producers (26%), and least amongst cinematographers (4%).

The author of the study, Dr. Martha Lauzen, commented: “the study provides no evidence that the mainstream film industry has experienced the profound positive shift predicted by so many industry observers over the last year. This radical underrepresentation is unlikely to be remedied by the voluntary efforts of a few individuals or a single studio. Without a large-scale effort mounted by the major players — the studios, talent agencies, guilds and associations — we are unlikely to see meaningful change. The distance from 8 percent to some semblance of parity is simply too vast. What is needed is a will to change, ownership of the issue — meaning the effort originates with the major players, transparency and the setting of goals.”

Read more here.