Women find lit­tle change in Hol­ly­wood

Lesotho Times - - Lifestyle -

LOS AN­GE­LES — The num­ber of women work­ing be­hind the cam­era in Hol­ly­wood’s top-gross­ing films has changed lit­tle over the past decade de­spite a slight uptick last year, an an­nual study re­leased on Tues­day has found. The “Celluloid Ceil­ing” study from San Diego State Uni­ver­sity’s Cen­ter for the Study of Women in Tele­vi­sion and Film said 7 per­cent of the top 250 films at the U.S. box of­fice in 2014 were di­rected by a woman, a 1 per­cent­age point in­crease from 2013.

“It’s not re­ally mov­ing much one way or the other,” said study au­thor Martha Lauzen, who added that the num­ber of films di­rected by women in 2014 has de­clined to 7 per­cent from 9 per­cent since the study be­gan 1998.

Seven­teen per­cent of key off-screen fig­ures — which in­cludes di­rec­tors, writ­ers, pro­duc­ers, ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers, ed­i­tors and cin­e­matog­ra­phers — were women last year, the study found, also a 1 per­cent­age point rise from 2013 but un­changed from 1998.

“This is clearly an in­dus­try-wide prob­lem that re­quires and in­dus­try-wide so­lu­tion,” Lauzen said. “As an in­dus­try, film has not taken on this is­sue of women’s chronic un­der­em­ploy­ment.”

The study comes as Hol­ly­wood’s awards sea­son revs into high gear fol­low­ing Sun­day’s Golden Globe Awards and the up­com­ing Academy Awards nom­i­na­tions on Thurs­day. Ava Du­ver­nay’s his­tor­i­cal drama “Selma” is the only early Os­car fa­vorite this year to be di­rected by a woman, while An­gelina Jolie’s World War Two biopic “Un­bro­ken” is the only film by a woman to crack the top 100 at the U.S. box of­fice in 2014. Only one woman, Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker,” has won the best direc­tor Os­car in 86 years of Hol­ly­wood’s top hon­ors.

The study con­sid­ered 2,822 be­hind-thescenes work­ers and found women were most highly rep­re­sented as pro­duc­ers at 23 per­cent and ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers at 19 per­cent. Women com­prised 18 per­cent of ed­i­tors, 11 per­cent of writ­ers while cin­e­matog­ra­phers were the low­est rep­re­sented job at 5 per­cent. Lauzen said one is­sue fac­ing women is a greater em­pha­sis in Hol­ly­wood on eth­nic di­ver­sity as op­posed to gen­der di­ver­sity.

“The sex of the direc­tor is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant be­cause the re­search shows that the sex of the direc­tor is re­lated to the per­cent­age of fe­male char­ac­ters that we seen on screen,” Lauzen said.

“This is a very com­plex in­dus­try and a very com­plex prob­lem,” Lauzen added. “There isn’t a magic bul­let here. — Reuters.

direc­tor and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer ava auser­nay (L) and actress tessa thomp­sonk

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