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Female Directors Helming Only 6.4% of Movies: DGA Report

Female directors helmed a mere 6.4% of the 376 movies released in 2013 and 2014, according to a new report by the Directors Guild of America.

The DGA’s inaugural Feature Film Diversity Report also showed that minority directors comprised only 12.5% of the directors on those 376 films. Minority males represented 5.1% of the directors while minority females amounted to 1.3%.

“What this report does not reflect is what people who love film – even our culture as a whole – are missing when such a disproportionate percentage of films are directed by one gender or one ethnicity,” said DGA president Paris Barclay. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a metric for that. What you will see is what happens when industry employers – studios and production companies – do little to address this issue head on.”

Barclay, who was the executive producer and principal director on “Sons of Anarchy,” is in his second two-year term as the first DGA’s first African-American president. He’s repeatedly stressed the importance of diversity during his tenure.

“The DGA, by detailing the state of director hiring with the precision of our data, hopes to draw further attention to this serious matter so that industry employers can develop concrete director diversity plans,” Barclay said.

The DGA’s study also found that far fewer female directors were working on films that garnered more than $10 million at the North American box office. Of the 86 directors of 69 films with a box office between $250,000 and $10 million, 11.6% were women; of the 222 directors of 212 films with a box office greater than $10 million, only 3.1% were women.

But the DGA found a slight increase in the percentage of minority directors in the higher box office category. Of the 86 directors on films with box office between $250,000 and $10 million, 11.6% were minorities; of the 222 directors of 212 films that had a box office greater than $10 million, 14.4% were minorities.

In its analysis by studios, Lionsgate had the top mark for women directors with 9%, while Disney, Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Co. employed no female helmers. Lionsgate also had the highest mark for male minority directors with 32%.

“The numbers paint a grim outlook for diverse film directors – women in particular,” said DGA Diversity Task Force co-chair Bethany Rooney. “Much like our recent reports on television director diversity, we hope this report will put a magnifying glass on a system that makes it disproportionately challenging for talented women and minority film directors to get hired.”

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