Women in Independent Film, 2015-16
This study, from Dr Martha Lauzen‘s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, provides behind-the-scenes employment figures for domestically and independently produced feature-length documentaries and narrative films screening at 23 high profile film festivals in the United States, including AFI Fest, the Sundance Film Festival and the SXSW Film Festival.
It found women are much more likely to work on documentaries than on narrative features. For example, women comprised 35% of directors working on documentaries versus 19% of directors on narrative features. Women remain far from achieving parity with men at festivals. The festivals considered screened an average of five narrative features directed by at least one woman versus an average of 18 narrative features directed exclusively by men. The festivals screened an average of eight documentaries directed by at least one woman compared with an average of 16 directed exclusively by men.
Overall, women accounted for 25% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers. These numbers represent little change in women’s employment since 2008-09 when women accounted for 24% of individuals in these roles.