New study delivers bad news for female-directed feature films in 2021

As we continue to see the race for awards season heat up, more attention will be paid to the diversity of nominees and winners we’ll see over the next two months. While some may think the progress has a positive trend, a new study delivers bad news for feature films directed by women in 2021. Even with awards and the box office explodes like Eternals Apparently suggesting progress, the statistics paint a different picture.

A report titled “The Celluloid Ceiling” reported vital statistics in the name of gender parity. Written by Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at the University of San Diego, the gap between male and female directors currently making films is still quite wide. Talk with Variety Regarding her conclusions, Ms. Lauzen presented this contrast as follows:

Appearances can be deceiving. While Chloé Zhao won the Oscar last year for directing Nomadland and Jane Campion is leading this year’s race for The Power of the Dog, the percentage of women directing films has actually declined in 2021. on the well-earned fortunes of a few high-profile women can lead us to inaccurate conclusions about the state of women’s employment. This year again, more than 80% of films do not have a woman at the helm.

Ms. Zhao’s performance in 2021 was a particularly stark counterpoint to the fact that “more than 80% of films” did not have a female director last year. Commercially, she landed a hit with the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Eternals, which landed in the top 10 box office movies of 2021, after getting a triumphant opening at the beginning of November. Artistically, but also in terms of awards, Chloé Zhao saw herself winning big again, thanks to nomadland clean up the most wins for a movie at the 93rd Academy Awards. One can see how this kind of story can obscure the complete and total narrative that Ms. Lauzen’s numbers signal.

It’s not all awful news according to “The Celluloid Ceiling,” as there have been gains and catches for women in the film industry. While women making stats may have declined, there has been an increase in the number of female executive producers, producers, as well as “key behind-the-scenes roles.” Meanwhile, the numbers have held steady throughout 2021 for positions held by women such as writers, cinematographers and editors on top films.

Just as another awards cycle seems to center its narrative around a strong female nominee, Martha Lauzen’s reporting is something key industry players should bear in mind. While Jane Campion has had a lot of buzz for her Original Netflix The power of the dog, including several major victories at last weekend’s Golden Globes, that doesn’t negate the fact that there could be another drop in films directed by women. The march of progress doesn’t stop after awards season, and it will be interesting to see how 2022 compares to last year’s rankings.

Chloe Zhao’s Eternals is set to make its Disney+ debut, with its physical media release available for pre-order, and should be delivered on February 15. Meanwhile, Jane Campion The power of the dog can be found streaming on Netflix, just in time to catch up with one of this year’s potential Oscar contenders. For all other questions surrounding the year of cinema to come, consult the Release calendar 2022 for more information.

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