New call for film director gender equality

Women in filmThe UK production industry faces a renewed call for gender equality as a study suggests prospects for female filmmakers have barely improved in a decade.

Figures from Directors UK, the professional association for British film directors, show that just 13% of working directors between 2005 and 2014 were women.

The number of films directed by women over the same period increased by barely half a percent.

Directors UK has responded to its study by calling for half of publicly-funded UK films to be directed by women by 2020.

“It cannot be acceptable that in 2016 any industry with 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,” said Beryl Richards, chair of Directors UK and chair of Directors UK Gender Equality Group.

“Our suggestion of a 50:50 split in public funding is something that has been achieved in other countries, such as Sweden. Equality of opportunity in UK filmmaking is something we should all be working towards.”

Career prospects for female directors in the UK dropped steeply as production budgets increased. Sixteen percent of productions budgeted below £500,000 were directed by women, but this figure fell dramatically to just 3% for films with budgets above £30m.

Directors UK’s research involved studying nearly 2,600 UK films released between 2005 and 2014. The lack of an effective regulatory system or structured hiring and recruitment practices were among the factors blamed for the persistent and long-term inequality.


Also on The Knowledge