Female directors have a much tougher time landing mainstream studio films - but why? http://t.co/A291HIQNzB pic.twitter.com/qpvXWCK0ae
— Variety (@Variety) April 22, 2015
Among the study findings:
- Gender is a significant factor in the types of stories told by directors in competition at Sundance. Three-quarters of all dramatic competition movies featured drama, comedy and/or romance, with female-directed films (92.5%) more concentrated in these genres than male-directed films (69%).
- Gender did not affect whether Sundance pics received theatrical distribution. Of 208 movies from 2002-2014, 177 received domestic distribution (85.1%). Female-directed films (88.7%) were just as likely to receive distribution as male-directed films (83.9%).
- Movies with a female director (70.2%) were more likely than movies with a male director (56.9%) to be distributed by independent companies with fewer financial resources and lower industry clout. Male-directed films (43.1%) were more likely than female-directed films (29.8%) to receive distribution from a studio specialty arm or mini-major.
- The director gender gap is at its widest in top-grossing films. Across 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014, only 4.1 percent of all directors were female.
- 44% said female directors are perceived to make films for a subset and/or less significant portion of the marketplace.
- 42% believe there is a scarcity of female directors and a small pool to choose from in top-grossing films.
- 25% cited women’s perceived lack of ambition in taking on directing jobs.
- 22% cited the skewed representation of women in decision-making roles in the industry as a factor in limiting job opportunities for female directors.
- 12% cited the belief that women “can’t handle” certain types of films or aspects of production, such as commanding a large crew.