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.”

More Film

  • Unathi Malonga

    Report Urges South African Media to ‘Step Up’ Against Gender Violence

    DURBAN–In a country with some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, South African media must step up and play a greater role in the fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. That was the conclusion of a report, “Gender, Diversity and Gender-based Violence in South African TV,” that was [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • The Lion King

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Roars Overseas With Mighty $269 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” certainly felt the love this weekend, generating $269 million at the international box office. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the classic Disney cartoon now holds the eighth-biggest debut of all time overseas, and that’s not including the film’s early opening in China last weekend. Combined with a stellar $185 million start [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content