Industry / Market - Europe
Industry Report: Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Women are still just 25% of all film directors working in Europe, the latest European Audiovisual Observatory report reveals
The highest female presence was registered among lead roles (39%), producers (34%) and screenwriters (28%), whilst the lowest among DoPs (10%) and composers (10%)
On 18 October, the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) published a new report titled “Female professionals in European film production,” authored by Patrizia Simone.
The scope of the research includes the calculation of the shares of female professionals working as directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, composers and playing leading roles, in particular on feature films by the 46 members of the Council of Europe produced between 2017 and 2021 and theatrically released in at least one European market.
In detail, the research addressed three key questions: How are women represented among active professionals? What is the average share of female professionals per film? Finally, what is the share of works by a majority of female professionals (also referred to as “female-driven teams”)? The information on film directors of each feature film builds on the data from the LUMIERE database, whilst the names of professionals working in other roles were retrieved from the data made publicly available on IMDb.
The study’s main finding is that women are still underrepresented and often working for male-driven teams. The highest female presence was registered among leading roles (39%), producers (34%) and screenwriters (28%), whilst the lowest among cinematographers (10%) and composers (10%). Moreover, women accounted for 25% of all directors of European feature films active between 2017 and 2021.
On average, however, women directed fewer films than men and they were less likely to be the sole directors of features than their male counterparts. Thus, the average share of female directors per film is 22%, a figure which is lower than the share of women among all active directors in the workforce.
On a slightly positive note, the share of female professionals is progressing slowly, with variations across Europe, but this is still far from being considered a major achievement. Documentary was the genre with the highest share of women, taking into account all film crew roles. For example, women accounted for 30% of directors of documentaries compared to 21% for live-action fiction films.
Among other key trends pointed out by the report are “female professionals in film crews working on slightly fewer films than their male counterparts” as well as the tendency of behind-the-camera female professionals to work “in teams more often than their male colleagues” and “comparatively more likely to work in gender-mixed teams than men.”
Finally, it is worth mentioning that, in broader terms, “a minority of features were made by female-driven teams of professionals.” For example, only 19% and 20% of films were written and directed by a female-driven team, respectively. The gap is smaller in female-driven producing teams, accounting for 23%, but larger for leading roles (17%), DoPs (9%) and composers (7%).
You can access the full report here: https://rm.coe.int/female-professionals-in-european-film-production-2022-edition-p-simone/1680a886c5
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