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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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The Celluloid Ceiling has tracked women’s employment on top grossing films for the past 21 years. The Celluloid Ceiling has tracked women’s employment on top grossing films for the past 21 years.
 


Celluloid Ceiling Report Shows Decline of Women Directors in Top Films

The annual report looks at the employment of women in the top grossing films of 2018.
By SDSU News Team
 

The percentage of women working as directors on the top 250 grossing films declined to 8 percent in 2018 from 11 percent in the previous year, according to the 21st annual Celluloid Ceiling report released by Martha Lauzen, executive director of San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

“The study provides no evidence that the mainstream film industry has experienced the profound positive shift predicted by so many industry observers over the last year,” said Lauzen.  “This radical underrepresentation is unlikely to be remedied by the voluntary efforts of a few individuals or a single studio.”

The figures show that any meaningful change requires a determined effort by film studios, talent agencies, guilds, and associations, Lauzen said. “The distance from 8 percent to some semblance of parity is simply too vast.  What is needed is a will to change, ownership of the issue – meaning the effort originates with the major players, transparency, and the setting of concrete goals.”

Overall, only 1 percent of films employed 10 or more women in key behind-the-scenes roles.  In contrast, 74 percent of films employed 10 or more men.  Among the top 250 films, women accounted for 16 percent of writers, 21 percent of executive producers, 26 percent of producers, 21 percent of editors, and 4 percent of cinematographers.

An expanded analysis of the top 500 films reveals films with at least one woman director employ substantially higher percentages of women writers, editors, cinematographers and composers than features with exclusively male directors.  In films with female directors, for example, women comprised 71 percent of writers.  In films with exclusively male directors, women accounted for 13 percent of writers.

The Celluloid Ceiling has tracked women’s employment on top grossing films for the past 21 years. This year’s study monitored over 4,200 film credits.  Since 1998, the study has tracked a total of more than 64,000 credits.