Only 6.4% of the 347 feature films released in 2013 and 2014 were directed by women, and only 3.1% of the 212 films with domestic box office grosses greater than $10 million were helmed by women, according to a new DGA report. The report also found that minority females directed only 1.3% of the 347 films surveyed.
The report also found that several of the major companies didn’t release a single film directed by a woman, including none of the 37 films released by Warner Bros, the 16 films released by Disney, the 17 films released by the Weinstein Company or the 10 films released by Open Road.
The report found that the major studios and the “mini-majors” had the worst record of employing women directors – just 3.8% of their films were directed by women.
“The numbers paint a grim outlook for diverse film directors – women in particular,” said DGA Diversity Task Force co-chair Bethany Rooney. “Much like our recent reports on television director diversity, we hope this report will put a magnifying glass on a system that makes it disproportionately challenging for talented women and minority film directors to get hired.”
The report found that of the 376 directors of features released in 2013 and 2014, 12.5% were by minority directors. Caucasian males got 82.4% of the jobs; minority males got 11.2%, and Caucasian females got 5.1%.
“The numbers indicate that women and minority directors are virtually shut out of this multibillion-dollar industry that has a deep financial and cultural impact on our global society,” said DGA Diversity Task Force co-chair Todd Holland. “In order to make progress, the film studios need to take this information and commit to becoming real agents of change with solutions.”
Said DGA President Paris Barclay: “What this report does not reflect is what people who love film – even our culture as a whole – are missing when such a disproportionate percentage of films are directed by one gender or one ethnicity. Unfortunately, we don’t have a metric for that. What you will see is what happens when industry employers – studios and production companies – do little to address this issue head on. The DGA, by detailing the state of director hiring with the precision of our data, hopes to draw further attention to this serious matter so that industry employers can develop concrete director diversity plans.”
The report does not include foreign films, documentaries, animated films and re-releases. The 347 features studied were produced by companies – which range from the major studios and their subsidiaries to smaller production companies – that are signatory to the DGA’s collective bargaining agreement. Altogether, they accounted for about 97% of the total domestic live-action box office. While not the focus of the study, the DGA also analyzed films produced by companies that are not signatory to DGA’s collective bargaining agreement and found that hiring of women directors followed a similar pattern in both groups.
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