10 Updates

Women Filmmakers Fare Much Better in the Indie World - But It's Still Not Good Enough

May 6 2014, 12:13pm CDT | by

If you follow the issue of women directors working in Hollywood you will know that that this is a very complicated issue. Getting more women directors working at the highest level of the business is...

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11 weeks ago

Women Filmmakers Fare Much Better in the Indie World - But It's Still Not Good Enough

May 6 2014, 12:13pm CDT | by

If you follow the issue of women directors working in Hollywood you will know that that this is a very complicated issue. Getting more women directors working at the highest level of the business is something that seems to be one of the most intractable issues in the business, and one that the powers in Hollywood refuse to address with any proactive solutions. But that hasn’t stopped many of us from raising the question as often as possible. In fact, whereas a few years ago there were very limited conversations on the topic, now, it seems that the drumbeat has gotten quite loud.

Recently, there have been several pieces written, some focused on the upcoming Cannes Film Festival , another on women directors mentoring each other . NY Times film critic Manohla Dargis has made this one of her issues and she addressed it again this past weekend in her Memo to Hollywood  asking the Hollywood moguls why they refuse to hire women to direct big budget films. She wrote: “So … what’s up with not hiring women to direct movies? Is there something about double-X chromosomes that makes you squeamish? Are women biologically incapable of directing movies, especially the franchises that prop up the big studios year after year?”

Think about it. When was the last time you went to see a movie directed by a woman? If you live in NY and LA and a couple of other big cities hopefully, you have made the effort to see a woman directed film. But if you live in a place where there are no indie theatres you probably haven’t seen a movie directed by a woman this year, and probably not even last year since women directed only 6% of the top 250 grossing films in 2013. It’s not your fault. The problem is that women are not directing the films that show up in the multiplexes, and since 80% of all films are seen in the multiplex, chances are you not seeing women because they aren’t there.

In general, the film festival circuit and indie world is a pipeline to Hollywood gigs. At least it’s that way for men. Success on a small indie film is a clear stepping stone for male directors to the big time and big dollars. Women struggle to get tapped for the big films, but are clearly more visible in the indie world where budgets are much smaller. A new study released today by Martha Lauzen of San Diego State takes a look at how female filmmakers fare at the major film festivals across the country  and it shows that women directors and other women working behind the scenes fare much better in the independent world than they do in Hollywood. Overall, women make up 26% of the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on indie films in 2013-14. This is the same amount as 2011-12 and up 2 points from 2008-09. By comparison, women make up only 16% of those working behind the scenes on the top 250 grossing films in Hollywood.

The numbers, while better are still not good enough, and some of the numbers — especially the number of women directors has actually gone backwards. Breaking it down further, women are 28% of directors on documentaries and 18% of the directors working on features. These numbers are a huge improvement on the 6% of women directors on the top 250 grossing films. But the number of directors overall has decreased since the last study. The overall number of directors – 23% is down 6 percentage points from 2011-12. This decrease should give everyone pause.

Overall numbers (both doc and narrative ) are:

  • Producers – 33% – This number is up from 31% in 2011-12.
  • Executive producers – 27% – This number is up from 25% in 2011-12.
  • Directors – 23% – This number is down from 29% in 2011-12.
  • Writers – 22% – This number is down from 24% in 2011-12.
  • Editors – 20% – This number is down from 25% in 2011-12.
  • Cinematographers – 10% – This number is down from 13% in 2011-12.

Significantly, the numbers in the documentary industry decreased since the last survey. The number of directors has gone down from 39% in 2011-12 to 28%. (It is back to the same number as 2008) The number of writers has also decreased from 32% to 23%. Those are both such large decreases that they are troubling. The number of executive producers has stayed the same and the number of producers has increased back to the same as 2008-09. The number of editors has decreased from 27% to 20%, and cinematographers has also gone down to 12% from 16%.

In the narrative area, the number of women directors and writers have both stayed the same. Directors are at 18% and writers are at 21%. Executive producers increased to 26% from 22% and producers ticked up one percentage point to 30%. Trending downward are women editors and cinematographers. Editors are down to 19% from 23% and cinematographers lost 3 percentage points going from 9% to 6%.

And for the first time the study also tracked composers and they make up 10% in the study which is gigantic compared to only 2% of women working on the top grossing films.

The study clearly shows that there are more opportunities for women filmmakers to work throughout the independent film sector. But these numbers are not good enough and the backsliding on the directing numbers is clearly troublesome. We need to continue to build the pipeline of women filmmakers — directors and all other positions — so that women can get the opportunities for their films to be seen at all levels of the business.

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the De ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammudd ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) toda ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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