According to a new report, in the UK women make up a paltry 13% of film directors.
This study, which was commissioned by the association Directors UK, also showed that the amount of films directed by women in the last 10 years has barely changed.
The percentage of films created by women was at 11.3% in 2005 and 11.9% in 2014, an increase of just 0.6%.
Sarah Gavron, director of Suffragette, called the findings “shocking and startling”.
She continued: “Film, of course, influences our culture, which is why it is vital to have diversity and more gender equality both in front of and behind the camera. We need to work to shift this imbalance, and it seems the only way to do this is to be radical, rather than waiting for something to change.”
Now, the Directors UK association is saying that half of all publicly funded films needed to be directed by women by 2020. They are also saying that firms need to reach certain diversity criteria, which would incorporate gender factors, before they get government funding.
Their reasoning behind the 50-50 split is that has been achieved in other countries such as Sweden.
Beryl Richards, chairwoman of Directors UK, also chimed in saying that it’s unacceptable that “this level of inequality continues to go unchecked – not least the film industry that plays such an influential role in our economy, our society and our culture. With such comprehensive evidence we can now pinpoint and address the areas that need the most attention and focus on rectifying it.”
It is an odd situation, especially when you consider that figures show 50.1% of all film students and 49.5% of new entrants are women. Naturally, some of the film students may not even go to work in the industry, and the ones that day may have other high profile roles that aren’t directing, but it does seem a small amount of women compared to the amount of talent entering the industry.
The report suggests that it’s a vicious cycle, as young women entering the industry will be discouraged by the lack of female role models, which of course leads to less female directors in the future.