STUDY FINDS 2019 WAS A ‘BANNER YEAR’ FOR FEMALE FILMMAKERS

Percentage of women directing top-100 grossing movies higher than ever before

This combination photo shows, from left, Lulu Wang, director of The Farewell; Greta Gerwig, director of Little Women; Lorene Scafaria, director of Hustlers; and Melina Matsoukas, director of Queen & Slim. Women directed 12 of 2019’s top 100-grossing films in 2019, according to a study released Thursday by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Female filmmakers. (Getty Images)

Lulu Wang, Lorene Scafaria, Melina Matsoukas and Greta Gerwig led Hollywood to a record year for women in the director’s chair. In 2019, women directed more of the most popular movies than any year before.

Women directed 12 of 2019’s top 100-grossing films in 2019, according to a study released Thursday by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

That percentage of female filmmakers, 10.6 per cent, is greater than researchers have recorded before, suggesting that some measure of change is finally coming to a film industry where inequality behind the camera has remained stubbornly persistent.

It’s the most meaningful increase in several decades for female directors. Despite mounting outcry, the rate of female directors helming Hollywood’s top productions has long been largely stagnant. The previous high in USC’s annual study was 8 per cent, in 2008. In 2018, only 4.5 per cent of the year’s top films were directed by women.

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