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.

Popular on Variety

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

  • Jimmy Carter

    Tribeca Film Festival to Open With 'Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President'

    The 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival will open on April 15 with the world premiere of the documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President.” The film explores Carter’s lifelong passion for all genres of music and how it helped propel him, a former peanut farmer from Georgia, all the way to the White House. Carter’s [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival Entry Cristi Puiu’s

    Berlin: Cristi Puiu’s ‘Malmkrog’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for Cristi Puiu’s “Malmkrog,” the opening film of the Berlin Film Festival’s new competitive strand, Encounters. Shellac is handling world sales. “Malmkrog” is set at the manor house of an aristocratic landowner in Transylvania. Among the handpicked guests who have arrived to spend the Christmas holidays [...]

  • No Time to Die Trailer

    Bond Film 'No Time to Die' Cancels China Premiere, Tour Due to Virus

    Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the new James Bond film “No Time to Die” has cancelled its Beijing premiere as well as a promotional tour with talent in April, according to Chinese reports. The film, which marks star Daniel Craig’s last turn as the iconic spy, is set to debut in North America on April [...]

  • Honest Candidate

    Korea Box Office: ‘Honest Candidate’ Wins Weekend as ‘Parasite’ Returns to Chart

    Opening on Wednesday (Feb. 12), comedy “Honest Candidate” topped the South Korean box office, ahead of “Little Women” and Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” which returned to the charts eight months after its original release. “Candidate” earned $6.52 million from 909,000 admissions over five days. Directed by Chang You-jeong (“Finding Mr. Destiny”), “Candidate” is the story of [...]

  • Sophia Loren

    Netflix Takes Global Rights to Sophia Loren's First Feature Film in a Decade

    Netflix has acquired global rights to drama “The Life Ahead,” which marks Sophia Loren’s return in front of the camera for a feature film after a decade. Directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, “Life Ahead” sees the iconic Italian Oscar winner playing Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who forges a bond with a 12-year-old Senegalese [...]

  • The Book of Sun

    Oliver Stone to Head Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Festival Jury, Lineup Announced

    Oliver Stone will preside over the main jury of Saudi Arabia’s nascent Red Sea International Film Festival, which has unveiled its inaugural lineup. The fest will feature the Middle East premiere of Harvey Weinstein-inspired workplace abuse drama “The Assistant” amid a fresh mix of feature films and docs from Europe, the U.S., Asia and Africa [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content