Women are roughly 50% of the global population. However, men now outnumber women on the planet by 60 million, the highest ever recorded. Preference for sons in India and China is driving the trend, but those two countries are not the only ones struggling with an imbalanced population. (Source: Quartz) Film is an important element to our cultural narrative about the importance of gender parity, so if we want countries to value women, we need to value our women in film.
Women are not given the same opportunity as men. Only four percent of Hollywood studio movies are directed by women. Jessica Chastian, American Actress and film producer, recently published an essay from the film set: “No One Feels “Left Out or Bullied.” She makes many amazing points about women in film. In the heart of the essay she makes a brilliant claim working under a women director, “For starters, more females get hired: “This comes from when women in power make room for other women.”( Source: THR)
Sundance has reported that, “Each year for the last 13 years, 25% of American directors at the Sundance Film Festival have been female. While markedly ahead of the mainstream marketplace.” (Source:Sundance) They did extensive research and discovered the barriers for women were:
Artist Support – Resource Map, Fellowships, Career Sustainability
Financing – Expanding Knowledge and Access for Female Filmmakers
Raising Awareness – Research, Public Programs
Networking and Collective Impact – Change requires a collective, field-wide approach
In order to make a change in the industry we must be willing to raise awareness around the issue. We must be willing to give a voice to the voiceless and empower the whole industry.
Ways to get involved are to support women filmmakers and women in film. Join networking groups like Women in Film and try to make changes from the bottom up. Be aware of the little ways you can be a part of this big shift in media.
You actually can make a difference.