Women directed 16% of the top 100 films, but the ‘stunning disparity’ remains off-camera.
According to an annual gender analysis that found a “startling imbalance” when it comes to other off-camera roles, a record number of female directors took the helm of major Hollywood films in the past 12 months. The annual Celluloid Ceiling survey from San Diego State University found that women make up 16 percent of directors working on the top 100 highest-grossing films in 2020, up from 12 percent in 20. Dr. Martha Lauzen, founder of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, which conducted the study, said the rise in female directors working on major projects two years in a row could demonstrate that the gender balance is finally improving. Even without the release of some of this year’s most awaited women’s big-budget films, like Chloé Zhao’s Eternals and Cate Shortland’s Black Widow, the percentage of women employed as directors has increased marginally in 2020,” Lauzen said, “The good news is that we have now seen growth in women directing for two years in a row. This breaks a historical pattern where numbers are trending. Lauzen added that the “imbalance in behind-the-scenes roles remains staggering,” with almost 70 percent of films employing less than five women in key director, writer, executive designer, producer, editor or filmmaker positions. The report, undertaken for more than two decades, also sought to account for on-demand streaming viewers, which were dramatically enhanced by sta sta.
In this review, just under 10% of directors were women, compared to 16% for top box office hits among filmmakers. Female filmmakers such as Birds of Prey’s Cathy Yan and Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins took credit for some of the year’s largest releases in 1984, amid a shortened release schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced festivals to turn to digital and theaters to close. The Oscar race this year could see a female Best Director winner, in a category that in its history has produced only five female nominees. As potential candidates this year, Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Kelly Reichardt (First Cow), Zhao (Nomadland) and first-time director Regina King (One Night In Miami) are floating. Should one of them win, after Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010, she will be just the second woman to win the award. A Guardian review found that the gender disparity is still obvious prior to last year’s awards season, particularly when it comes to films being nominated for an Oscar. The Guardian found that Taron Egerton, Michael B. Jordan and Adam Driver, three of last year’s Best Actor Oscar’s youngest actors, had never worked on a female-directed film, while Joaquin Phoenix, the category’s front runner and eventual winner, had only worked with a female director once in his 34-year career.