Last Year Was A Banner Year For Film Directed By Women


Those looking for a silver lining to 2020 can find one in a recent story out of Variety. Namely, it concerns how many women got to direct the highest grossing films of last year. On top of several of the choice independent movies of the year, blockbusters had more representation to them, behind the camera, than ever before. The numbers are still on the low side, but it’s an arrow going in the direction of parity, which is overdue in the industry. Hopefully Hollywood continues to take the right lessons from this and the numbers continue to tick up. Read on for a little more…

According to Variety, a four percent increase in women behind the camera on the highest grossing films of the year made 2020 the best yet for female filmmakers. Of course, sixteen percent is still a tragically low figure, but at least it’s a step in the proper direction, right? Here’s to many more steps not just in 2021, but in the years to come. It’s more than time, and that’s putting it mildly.

Here’s a bit from their report:

Hollywood tapped a record number of women to call the shots on major movies in 2020, according to a new study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

Women represented 16% of directors working on the 100 highest-grossing films in 2020, a high-water mark for female representation behind the camera. That’s up from 12% in 2019 and a lowly 4% in 2018, and a sign that the pressure on studios to promote more female filmmakers may be resulting in tangible change.

Of course, this was a year like no other, one that saw the theatrical business brought to a virtual standstill for months due to coronavirus. That also meant that some of the biggest budgeted films boasting female filmmakers, such as Chloe Zhao’s “The Eternals” and Cate Shortland’s “Black Widow,” had their releases pushed into 2021. Zhao did helm the Oscar hopeful “Nomadland,” while other female filmmakers such as Cathy Yan (“Birds of Prey”) and Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman 1984”) oversaw some of the year’s highest-profile releases.

Stay tuned to see how 2021 fares!

(Source: Variety)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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