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Tag: Women in Film (1-4 of 4)

Women still severely underrepresented in film, study finds

Despite efforts to promote gender equality, women are still severely underrepresented in the film industry, according to a new study from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

In a study by USC Annenberg titled “Gender Bias Without Borders,” researchers analyzed the quantity and quality of female roles in 120 of the world’s most popular movies from 2010-2013 (specifically, the top-grossing non R-rated releases in the 10 countries with the biggest film industries). They found that gender inequality is “rampant” in films worldwide and that “not one country is anywhere near representing reality.”

Moviegoers in the combined U.S./U.K. market saw over three times as many men as women onscreen— with women making up just 23.6 percent of the 5,799 speaking roles. And good luck finding a female hero in any country: Fewer than one in four of the films featured a female lead or co-lead.

When ladies are on the big screen, it’s often about the way they look. The study found that female roles — especially characters between the ages of 13 and 20 — are highly sexualized and objectified, with women over twice as likely as men to be shown partially or fully nude, or wearing sexually revealing clothing. Additionally, men in movies frequently talk about the appearance of their female counterparts, with over five times as many comments about physical appearance directed at female characters than male.

But what we see on the screen begins behind the camera—where there are four men for every women, researchers found. Movies directed or written/co-written by a woman, however, had 6.8 percent and 7.8 percent more female characters, respectively.

Of course, the real world hasn’t achieved gender equality, either— but it is much more representative than the ones we create in L.A. backlots. When did movie magic become the act of making women disappear?

Behind every great film, not enough women

Women obliterated barriers in Hollywood last year: ­Katniss Everdeen topped the domestic box office in the female-co-produced The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; Disney’s ­animated smash Frozen redefined the princess genre with Jennifer Lee as one of two directors at the helm; and two films from power producer Megan Ellison (American ­Hustle and Her) were just nominated for Best Picture.

But take one step back from the A-list and the picture isn’t so rosy. According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film’s Celluloid Ceiling report, 2013 marked a dismal year for women in behind-the-scenes jobs on the top 250 grossing movies. Filmmakers with XX chromosomes accounted for only 16 percent of the directors, writers, ­executive producers, producers, editors, and ­cinematographers on those films — a drop of 1 percent from 1998. And only 6 percent of the top films last year were helmed by women, down from 9 percent. Other than Kathryn Bigelow, still the only woman to win an Oscar for directing (The Hurt Locker), no female directors come close to the name recognition of Spielberg or Scorsese. The question is: Why?
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From Sundance to the multiplex: Women directors are taking the spotlight

Long before she directed the summer comedy The To Do List, Maggie Carey was a Division I soccer player at the University of Montana. That was back in the 1990s, when for the first time in her life, she had a female coach.

“It was really refreshing to see a woman in a leadership role and that kind of clicked with me – maybe there was something missing that I wasn’t aware of. And I think seven of the girls [I played with] went on to coach,” Carey says.

Now, as a film director, Carey finds herself at the helm in a profession also historically dominated by men. But like the sea change she witnessed playing soccer earlier in her life, Carey sees things opening up for women who want to get behind the camera.

“The next generation of [soccer] players,” she says, “they’re not going to even think twice about having a female coach. With access and filmmaking, girls who are in high school now aren’t going to think twice about [becoming directors] because they’re going to see women in those positions. It won’t be a barrier because they won’t know there was a barrier.”

Maggie Carey is one of a small group of up and coming female filmmakers in Hollywood who are starting to gain recognition for their work. But it is still a very small group.
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Laura Linney, 'Mad Men' actresses, George Lucas, and more honored by Women in Film

Women in Film is once again honoring women and those who support women in an industry that tends to be more of a boys club. The Los Angeles-based organization announced the recipients of their 2013 Crystal + Lucy Awards this week, and among the honorees are Laura Linney, George Lucas, and Hailee Steinfeld.

The awards will be presented at WIF’s Annual Benefit Gala on Wednesday, June 12. The event will also celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary.

“Our six honorees illustrate the wide spectrum of creative innovation coming from women, and it’s a privilege to be commemorating all of their successes,” WIF president Cathy Schulman said in a statement. READ FULL STORY

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